Morsi’s family threatens legal action over army 'abduction'

2013-07-22 16:10

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Cairo – The family of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has said it would take legal action against the army, accusing it of abducting the country’s first democratically-elected president.

Morsi has been held at an undisclosed military facility since the army removed him from office on July 3 and suspended the constitution in the wake of huge street protests against his one-year rule.

The army says Islamist Morsi is being held for his own safety.

“There is no legal or constitutional basis ... for detaining someone not accused of a crime for his own safety,” Morsi’s son, Osama, told a news conference today marking the family’s first formal appearance since his ouster.

He said the family would take immediate legal action “inside Egypt and at an international level” against Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army commander and defence minister who played a central role in forcing Morsi from office.

Osama said the family had not been in touch with their father since his ouster and had no information on the state of his health.

Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood accuses the army of orchestrating a military coup. It denounced a move, launched yesterday, to revise Egypt’s constitution, drafted last year by an Islamist-dominated body and adopted despite objections from Christians and liberals. The Brotherhood calls the military-backed interim government illegitimate.

“(Morsi’s) arrest and that of his advisors is completely illegal,” said Heba Morayef, Egypt director of Human Rights Watch.

Under international law, she said, the maximum time someone can be held without charge is 48 hours.

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