UK calls for 'president Morsi' release

Amer Sultan in London, Wednesday 31 Jul 2013

In a telephone call to VP Baradei, William Hague calls for Morsi and other 'political detainees' arrested over past few weeks to be released, unless they face 'criminal charges'

British Foreign Secretary William Hague (Photo: AP)

The UK has called on the Egyptian authorities to release Mohamed Morsi.

 It also held the Egyptian security forces responsible for killing of the civilian protesters.

In phone talks with Mohamed El Baradei, Egyptian Vice President for Foreign Affairs, the UK Foreign Secretary William Hague called for “the release of all political detainees, including President Morsi, unless there are criminal charges to be made against them.”

This is the first time since his removal by the army, the UK called Morsi a president.

Hague’s remarks came hours after the Egyptian cabinet extended mandate to interior ministry to confront what it called 'acts of terrorism and road-blocking.'

The cabinet said pro-Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa and NahdaSquare  are 'threat to national security.'

In a statement after his talks with ElBaradei, Hague said he also emphasized that it is vital that any charges against detainees are not politically motivated.

In remarks to Ahram Online, a UK foreign Office spokesman refused to say whether his government is convinced that the charges Morsi is facing are criminal not politically motivated. 

Since the June, 30 events, the UK government has been urging for stopping violence in Egypt.

Alistair Burt, the UK Middle East minister, visited Egypt last week and met the interim government official and Muslim Brotherhood.  At the end of the visit he said Egypt needs a political process that includes all groups on an equal footing leading to early and fair elections which all parties are able to contest, and a swift return to civilian-led government.

Hague raised his concern about the current situation in Egypt” particularly the killing by security forces of over 80 civilians last weekend."

Last Saturday, dozens of civilians were killed and hundreds injured according to official figures when supporters of the ousted president and the police clashed at the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier in Nasr City .

“I made clear that the UK condemned this excessive use of force, along with the attacks against security forces in Sinai, Mansoura and elsewhere,” the statement said.

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