Egyptian Student Killed by Religious Vigilantes
Three bearded men in religious attire reportedly stabbed 20-year-old engineering student Ahmed Said Monday in Suez for walking with his fiancée after the men told Said what he was doing was haram. Said reportedly told the men it was none of their business, and was then stabbed in the groin and died hours later from the injury. The “Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice Authority” Facebook page, a Saudi-style independent morality police group, claimed responsibility in what is the latest in a string of recent attacks by similar vigilantes. President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood condemned the incident, while several groups including the Wafd Party, April 6 Movement, and Mohamed ElBardei’s former presidential campaign signed a joint statement expressing solidarity with the victim’s family and calling for an investigation.
Meanwhile, April 6 abandoned their 13 day long sit-in in Tahrir Square, saying they would try other methods to pressure the government to repeal the constitutional annex added by the military. This follows yesterday’s withdrawal from the sit-in by the Muslim Brotherhood. Hazem Salah Abu Ismail‘s supporters, however, said they will remain until the annex is revoked.
Tim Sebastian writing in the New York Times laments that there are few political incentives for President Morsi to address human rights in Egypt since, as he argues, Egyptians in general are apathetic on such issues. Additionally, the Associated Press writes that Morsi, unable to compete with the larger-than-life personas of his predecessors, is attempting to reinvent his uncharismatic image to that of a kind and humble leader who is disinterested in power.
Also, in an interview by the Council on Foreign Relations’ Bernard Gwertzman, Daniel Brumberg described what he called a “very difficult balancing act” ahead for President Morsi, particularly with the military, with whom Morsi will need to negotiate on certain key issues while also making it clear to them that their power will be reduced. Brumberg emphasized the need to ensure that the Constituent Assembly is not dissolved and can succeed in drafting a constitution, a need Brumberg said is foremost in the minds of the political elite.