By Charlie Miller
The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, set out preconditions for progression in a statement released on Tuesday.
The principle precondition outlined in the statement is the restoration of “constitutional legitimacy”, achieved through the reinstatement of the elected president, the return of the constitution and the resolution of the dissolved Shura council.
“Egyptians do not attend the sit-ins because the Muslim Brotherhood leadership was arrested,” the statement continued. “They come to the streets because the military coup overthrew constitutional legitimacy, kidnapped the first civilian elected president, disrupted the constitution, reversed the democratic path and restored the corruption and tyranny of the Mubarak regime.”
The statement demanded the release of political prisoners, saying that “the trumped up charges” against them must be dropped. A number of Brotherhood leaders have been detained, including ousted president Mohamed Morsi and members of his presidential team, FJP president Saad Al-Katatni, and deputy supreme guide of the Brotherhood, Khairat El-Shater and Rashad Bayoumi.
In an interview with the Daily News Egypt, Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said the detainees, including Gehad’s father Essam El-Haddad, have been held incommunicado since their arrest. 10 Brotherhood members comprising the presidential team have been detained since 3 July, and held by the military in an “undisclosed location”.
A group of 75 judges are also currently under investigation, following accusations of participating in pro-Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adaweya.
The statement rejected the notion of compromise with “those who practice terrorism and violence in its worst forms”, who “killed peaceful protesters as they prayed in the Republican Guard massacre”, and those who continued to accuse the military of massacres in Alexandria, Mansoura, Tanta, Desouk and Giza; seizing power by force; “kidnapping the legitimate president” and “violating the sanctity of places of worship by besieging worshippers.” The continued threats to invade the peaceful sit-ins also prevent the compromise process, the statement added.
The FJP called for a “fair and prompt impartial investigation into the massacres”, demanding that those responsible be held accountable in line with the law.
Citing international conventions regarding the freedom of opinion and expression, the FJP statement was critical of the closure of satellite channels and condemned the limitations placed on journalists, calling for the “abolition of media restrictions” alongside a stop to “the campaigns of lies, slander and incitement.”