Former Egyptian Information Minister Salah Abdul Maksud gave a statement in Istanbul on Thursday saying that the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which is against the coup that toppled former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi two years ago, won’t take up arms against President Abdel Fattal el Sisi, but will only employ civil resistance against the former army general.
Speaking at a press conference held by the 'Egypt Legitimacy Support Platform' and 'Egypt Revolutionary Council', Abdul Maksud said that the Brotherhood and its supporters have not been involved in any violent action and will stay committed to peaceful activism.
“We always said from the beginning that ‘Our peaceful demonstrations are more powerful than your bullets.' We believe we will accomplish this and we won’t follow any other way,” said Abdul Maksud.
On July 3, 2013, Egyptian armed forces led by then-general Abdel Fattah el Sisi seized control of Egypt's presidency, arresting government officials alongside top leaders of the Brotherhood - a transnational organisation known for its political activism combined with Islamic activism of which Mohamed Morsi was a member.
Former deputy of Egyptian parliament Mohamad Jabir also participated in the press conference in Istanbul, and stated that the people of Egypt will try the coup leaders in the future rather than engaging in any illegal intervention.
Answering a question about the recent death sentences handed to members of the Brotherhood, Jabir said “The Egyptian people will see them in judgement [the judges who sentenced Brotherhood members to death]. We will pursue our peaceful revolution. We will continue to claim our right and applying international law.”
An Egyptian court ordered the death penalty for Morsi as well as 105 codefendants on May 16, and the decision was sent to Egypt’s top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for approval. The Grand Mufti refused to approve the death sentence for Morsi’s espionage conviction, however on June 16 he did approve it for Morsi’s conviction for breaking out of jail.
Adil Raset - a member of Egypt Legitimacy Support Platform - read a joint declaration at the press conference and commented on the violence undertaken by the coup government.
“For two years the military government undertook several violations of rights including massacres, detentions, torture, the killing of dozens of soldiers in Sinai. What could be a bigger crime than forcing 20 thousand people from the Sinai - including children, youth, women and elderly people - to leave? Or unlawfully killing 1300 Egyptian citizens and targeting them directly,” said the declaration.
Prior to the military coup, anti-Morsi protests alleged the president was using electoral victories to monopolise power were launched in Cairo on June 30, 2013 in Tahrir Square, while Morsi’s supporters gathered in Rabaa Square.
The pro-Morsi protests continued for six weeks following the military coup in Cairo, until the Egyptian Armed Forces dispersed the protest camps and killed hundreds of Morsi supporters on August 14, 2013.
Human Rights Watch has described the raids as “one of the world’s largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history,” with the number of deaths from the Rabaa Square massacre alone totalling about 1,300.