Hosni Mubarak freed from Egyptian prison
Former president transferred to military hospital but will remain under house arrest
Political upheaval has gripped Egypt since Mr Morsi’s removal by the army on July 3, just over a year after he was elected.
The military’s declared plan for a return to democracy has yet to calm the most populous Arab nation, where security forces impose a nightly curfew as they hunt down Brotherhood leaders.
The clampdown appears to have weakened the Arab world’s oldest and arguably most influential Islamist group, which won five successive votes in Egypt after Mubarak’s fall.
”Friday of Martyrs”
The Brotherhood’s ability to stage large pro-Morsi demonstrations has faded in the past few days. One of its spokesmen, Ahmed Aref, was arrested today, the state news agency reported.
Brotherhood supporters have called on Egyptians to hold “Friday of Martyrs” marches against the army takeover.
A pro-Morsi alliance called the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy said in a statement: “We will remain steadfast on the road to defeating the military coup.”
Alarmed by the bloodshed, the United States and European Union are reviewing their aid to Cairo, but Saudi Arabia, a foe of the Brotherhood, has promised to cover any shortfall. Gulf Arab states have already pledged $12 billion since Morsi’s fall.
EU foreign ministers stopped short of agreeing immediate cuts in aid to Egypt yesterday, in part because of concern that doing so could damage any future EU mediation effort.
An EU attempt to broker a compromise collapsed before security forces cleared out the Brotherhood protest camps.
James Moran, the EU’s ambassador in the Egyptian capital, described reconciliation prospects as a huge challenge.
“Passions are high, emotions are high. Things have to cool off a little bit,” he said, skirting a question on whether the Brotherhood is committed to terrorism, as state media contend.
“It would be good if this is not all painted one colour. There may be different strains of opinion within the Islamist movement,” he said. “One thing is for sure - the Islamist constituency is there, and you are going to have to find a way somehow of living with it.”
The government has bristled at foreign attempts to use aid or persuasion to nudge it to seek a political compromise.