[JURIST] Egyptian authorities on Sunday charged deposed president Mohamed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] leaders with “incitement to murder” stemming from violent protests that took place last year. In August 2012, Morsi issued a declaration [JURIST report] granting himself complete legislative and executive power. The declaration and subsequent rulings resulted in political and social discord and massive, protracted public demonstration. According to the prosecution, Morsi and other high-level Brotherhood members incited their supporters [AFP report] to murder at least 10 protesters during a violent demonstration outside the presidential palace in December. The prosecution referred the case to trial in an Egyptian criminal court but the timeframe for the proceedings has not yet been determined. The charges are the latest move in a concerted effort to subdue the Brotherhood and restore order to the state.
Although Egypt has faced political unrest since the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] began over two years ago, the conflict peaked in July after the Egyptian military deposed [JURIST report] Morsi, in addition to suspending the nation’s constitution and installing an interim government. Last month, the Egyptian prime minister proposed formally dissolving [JURIST report] the non-governmental organization registration of the Muslim Brotherhood in an effort to force the group underground. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] urged Egyptian authorities [JURIST report] in July to address the escalating violence that followed Morsi’s ousting. Only one day after Morsi’s ouster, Egyptian authorities shut down four Islamist-run television stations [JURIST report], causing concern among groups such as Amnesty International [advocacy website]. The Chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, Adly Mansour, took the oath [JURIST report] to become the interim head of state on the same day that Morsi was deposed and has been acting in that capacity since then. According to the OHCHR more than 80 people have been killed and over 1000 injured since political turmoil gripped the nation.