Cairo (CNN) – Egypt’s interim interior minister blamed supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy for violence Saturday that left dozens dead and hundreds more wounded.
The statement appears to signal a rapidly waning tolerance of the Muslim Brotherhood by the military-backed government.
The comments by Minister Mohamed Ibrahim followed clashes overnight between Morsy’s supporters and those opposed to his rule, an escalation of violence that has raised concerns among Western leaders about the stability of a key ally in the region.
Ibrahim did not outright disavow claims by Muslim Brotherhood protesters that police fired on them. But interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei condemned the “excessive use of force” that resulted in deaths, state-run EGYNews reported.
Tensions between the sides were likely to be further inflamed after Ibrahim told reporters in a televised news conference that Morsy would probably be moved to the same prison where ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak is being held.
The decision, according to Ibrahim, will be made by an investigative judge. Morsy has been ordered jailed by a judge for 15 days on allegations, predating his election, that he had collaborated with the Palestinian group Hamas, according to state media.
Morsy has not been seen publicly since he was forced from office. But an attorney who has visited with Morsy’s former chief of staff, who also is being detained, told CNN that the former president is being “treated with the utmost respect.”
“He is treated like a statesman,” Nasser Amin said after meeting with Refa’a al-Tahtawi.
But the problem, Amin said, is that Morsy and others who are being held “can’t contact the outside world or lawyers.”
Morsy has been interrogated twice, once on July 17 and again on July 24, according to al-Tahtawi, Amin said. Egyptian law does not require an attorney be present for initial interrogations. source – CNN