So after much prevarication, a summary of Cameron’s “intelligence-led” review into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood has finally been released, sneaked out just before the Christmas break where it will gain little attention from press or MPs.
What a farce this document is – or at least the 12-page summary of the full (secret) review, which is all that has been released. As I predicted from the start, this was a political stitch-up, concocted to keep tyrants in the Gulf and Egypt happy, and to keep arms deals with the bloody kings and princes of Saudi Arabia and the UAE flowing.
In a written statement to MPs Thursday, Cameron said that the review supports “the conclusion that membership of, association with, or influence by the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism” and that “parts of the Muslim Brotherhood have a highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism.”
Read the rest over at MEMO.
On Saturday, there was a surprise verdict in an Egyptian court. Three Al Jazeera journalists were jailed for three years each in a widely-covered retrial. The three had previously been imprisoned for a year for supposedly “spreading false news” in support of a “terrorist” group – in fact the democratically-elected Muslim Brotherhood.
The previous verdict had been overturned due to what even the court admitted was a lack of evidence, but this retrial was ordered nonetheless.
One of the three, Australian journalist Peter Greste had been released in February and deported back to Australia. His colleagues Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy are both Egyptian and so have now been sent back to prison.
Read the rest over at MEMO.
On the Egyptian military regime’s spree of death sentences:
Since then, the coup regime has only felt itself more empowered to entrench its control, imprisoning dissidents and critics on the flimsiest of pretexts. These have included many Muslim Brotherhood leaders, but also secular and leftist critics like Alaa Abd El Fattah, who an Egyptian court outrageously sentenced to five years in jail earlier this year for the crime of organizing protests.
More recently, feeling more and more emboldened by tacit support from its American sponsors, the coup regime has been on a grotesque spree of handing out death sentences to many of its imprisoned critics. Egypt is now in danger of becoming a death sentence regime.
Read the whole thing over at MEMO.
Yet another delay, probably for good this time:
Reports in the British press suggest that Sir John has cleared the Brotherhood of any violent extremist tendencies. It is “not a terrorist organisation but should be more open about its dealings,” is how The Independent summarised the findings on Monday, when the report failed to materialise.
Read the full story here.