Mohamed Morsi’s Trial in Egypt
Yahoo reported on overthrown Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s trial in Egypt. In their article, they discussed the fact that Morsi has begun presenting evidence. But during the trial, he has been highly critical of current leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and his usurping of political power from Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi was overthrown in July 2013. Following the overthrow by el-Sisi, the government under the new leader also went after the Muslim Brotherhood, killing hundreds of supports, jailing many members of the organization, and the Cabinet labeling the group a terror organization.
As is the case in Egypt, Morsi was brought before the court in a cage. During the trial, Morsi was quoted as saying that “I am the president, and I have not been stripped off this title…”. He also went on to say that
“On 3 July (2013), I was surprised by military chiefs suspending the constitution and toppling the president: if this is not a coup, then what is?””
In addition, he also spoke against the court, saying that “”This court has no jurisdiction over me according to the law and the constitution. Gentlemen, you are not my judges and this is not my court” (Yahoo, 2015).
While Morsi was moving towards authoritarianism with his actions during his time in power, it is also troubling that el-Sisi did not follow the democratic process in Egypt, and that he has crackdown on opposition political parties, as well as well as journalists, and individuals who have spoken out against his rule, despite his claims that no political prisoners exist, and that freedom of speech reigns freely in the country. In addition, some may believe that it is doubtful that the judiciary is separate enough from el-Sisi to hear cases without some influence. Again, what is saddening is that the democratic process has collapsed. Many, so critical of the Muslim Brotherhood, have sadly ignored the fact that el-Sisi himself has consolidated power outside of the system of elections. When being critical of leaders, we must challenge anyone who is violating human rights and democratization, whether they are secular, Islamists, the military, or other parties or actors. We should continue to call for democratic reform in Egypt, as well as demanding that el-Sisi drop unfair charges against the Al Jazeera journalists who have been detained for over a year.
While many in Egypt are still upset at Morsi’s trial, and that the Muslim Brotherhood was taken out of power without elections, el-Sisi has concentrated his efforts on eliminated the Muslim Brotherhood, and thus, it is unlikely that the Muslim Brotherhood will challenge his power, although some wonder whether Egypt, in time, will revolt against el-Sisi’ because of his authoritarian policies.