Continuing Challenges to Morsi’s Leadership
Mohammed Morsi continues to face criticism regarding his time in office. A Cairo based human rights group, Nadim Center, reported that the Egyptian president has failed to meet his promise of reducing abuses by security forces. The group reports that there have been 34 deaths, 88 cases of torture and seven cases of sexual assault by security forces since he took office. Morsi also lost a battle in which he had asked the Egyptian Prosecutor-General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud to step down. The decision came after Mahmoud acquitted “more than 20 of…Mubarak’s inner circle,” causing many Egyptians to protest his appointment. Mahmoud won the dispute citing an Egyptian law which states “judicial officials…[cannot] be fired by the president.”
Roger Cohen of the New York Times released an op-ed on October 15, addressing recent clashes that took place in Cairo stating, both sides appear to be giving up too soon on democracy. He stated the clashes made the Muslim Brotherhood appear unwilling to accept dissent and that liberals appear to be giving up on reconciliation. Cohen also suggests now is the time for Morsi to be a more assertive leader, especially with the current controversy over the constitution. In other legal matters, the Egyptian defense minister, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi determined that military officer Mohammed Tareq al-Wadie would not be released from prison following Morsi’s amnesty for revolution detainees. Al-Wadie is said to have been detained for “taking part in pro-democracy protests in April 2011.” A Facebook page has been created for supporters to call for his release.
On October 15, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland of the U.S. Department of State addressed the recent clashes in Cairo, reiterating that violence was “not the democratic way,” urging all parties to resolve differences peacefully. Nuland also ensured that steps were being taken to secure U.S. embassies from any further violence and that the Dept. continues to advocate for the inclusion of universal human rights in the Egyptian constitution.