Egypt's Morsi Hasn't Read a Newspaper Since the Coup

Thanks to an Associated Press report, we might be able to fill in some of the gaps of what's happened to Morsi since the military overthrow of his government three weeks ago. 

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On Friday, Egypt announced that former president Mohammed Morsi would face criminal charges related to a 2011 jailbreak during the previous governmental overthrow in the country. It's the first big news we've heard of Morsi's fate since his ouster three weeks ago. And now, thanks to an Associated Press report, we might be able to fill in some of the gaps of what's happened to Morsi since then.

First off, it doesn't look like Morsi is up to date on what's happened since a popular uprising against his elected Muslim Brotherhood government led to a military takeover: he's been denied access to newspapers and television while in the hands of military intelligence. The news outlet, citing military sources, including those in military intelligence says that the former president has been questioned daily by military intelligence, sometimes for up to 5 hours.

That questioning, and the intelligence collected, isn't necessarily for the criminal investigation against the former Egyptian leader: that investigation is through a civilian prosecutor. Instead, the AP speculates, based on their sources, that information could be used for anything ranging from investigations into other Muslim Brotherhood members to justifying a return to a nationwide ban on the party. One of the sources explains:

"We allowed Hosni Mubarak to be put on trial and he is one of our own, so there is nothing to stop us from doing this," said one military official familiar with the thinking of the military leadership. 

Morsi was ordered detained for 15 days pending the civilian investigation against him. He's currently in an unspecified location near Cairo. Next, he'll probably be moved to a civilian high-security prison, where's he'll await the court's decision on the charges against him. Those charges, which include murder and conspiring with Hamas, make him eligible for the death penalty.

Meanwhile, at least five have died in clashes between pro and anti-Morsi supporters today, following the military's call for people to take to the streets on Friday and grant them a mandate to move forward with a crackdown on pro-Morsi protesters across the country. While reports indicated that both protests drew a strong turnout (with military supporters totally filling Tahrir square in Cairo), it's likely, based on photographs of pro-military demonstrations, that the military will see today's protests as mission accomplished:

Photo: Reuters

Photo: AP

Though neither shot below provides a direct comparison to those above, here's a couple shots of crowds at the pro-Morsi protests today:

Photo: AP

Photo: Reuters

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.