Monthly Archives: July 2013

Egypt’s Army Chief announced a deadline for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to end their resistance and join the transition government on Saturday. US urge the army to practice restraint.

Egypt’s army and interim government called for rival mass protests against the Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Morsy protesters. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called to the public who recognize the interim government as legitimate to give the military the right to provide a mandate to confront the violence spread by protests caused by Morsy’s oust by the military on July 3.

An official said the Egyptian army gave Morsy’s political group a Saturday deadline to end their protests and support the scheduled preparations for fresh elections to end the Egyptian confrontation.

The Muslim Brotherhood braces for violence as they said this is the Army’s attempt to crack down on protesters. The Egyptian army said that it would use force to anybody who instigates violence on Egypt’s streets. The army promises a “harsh reaction” against any form of violence or terrorism from the political group.

The US was alarmed by the new development and delayed the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets scheduled for Cairo.

The Muslim Brotherhood remains firm in wanting nothing to do with the military’s transition plan. They intend to re-instate ousted President Mohamed Morsy back into office. Rivaling mass protests against the Brotherhood and Morsy said that they will not let extremists ruin the new revolution in the country.

 

In what appears to be Russian President Vladimir Putin’s move to crush a political opponent, anticorruption blogger and protester against the Russian government Alexei Navalny had the court sentence him for five years imprisonment for embezzlement Thursday. Many Russians questioned the effectiveness of the Russian justice system in the country given that Navalny is Putin’s biggest political opponent.

Navalny posts on his blog that ever since strongman and President to Russia Vladimir Putin came into power, a pattern among the criminal charges shows an attempt by the government to stop their political opponents either by “brute force” or imprisonment, or smearing them publicly.

Navalny was charged with embezzling an amount of £470,000 in Russian currency from a state timber company acting as an advisor to a regional governor. Judge Sergei Bilnov then gave him a sentence, stating that “Navalny committed a grave crime”.

According to several observers, Putin had always made use of Russia’s legal system to crush a political opponent. Navalny, a lawyer who campaigned against Russian officials and their public corruption, showed how “rigged” and “set-up” the entire court decision was.

Navalny’s supporters noted that the Judge only made a decision based on an accused man’s statement as he turned into a prosecution witness, in which he gave a contradictory testimony. Defence lawyers weren’t allowed to cross-examine the witness.

Friday last week, Venezuela gave NSA leaker Edward Snowden an offer of political and humanitarian asylum. The country believes that Snowden did the right thing by exposing the illegitimate activities of the United States. However, one question remains for Edward Snowden; how could he get there?

Snowden is currently stuck in the transit area of the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, which the Russian government treats the transit area as a “neutral ground” not part of the Russian soil. The US had made it clear that it is watching its airspace and is pressuring its allies to deny airspace rights for any plane that carries Snowden.

Last week, the US, due to suspicions that Snowden has stowed away in the plane, stopped the Bolivian president’s flight.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration urged Snowden to leave as soon as possible and take Venezuela’s offer, to which he had agreed. Other countries offering asylum for Snowden are Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua.

A flight to Venezuela from Russia would pose problems given that it would go over Europe and the US airspace, to which Snowden is denied access. According to analysts, Snowden can most likely take a regularly scheduled flight on the Moscow OAO Aeroflot that flies directly to Havana. Cuba, sharing its Latin American ally Venezuela’s views, would probably let Snowden in the country, if he is not intercepted by the US yet.

Other plans to get Snowden to Venezuela would be a private jet that would fly north to the Barents Sea, Denmark Strait, Newfoundland and Windward Islands. A lacking flying vehicle would need refuelling and only a wealthy supporter or a Latin American government jet can get Snowden to Venezuela.