Saturday, December 22, 2012

Obama is right to tighten gun laws in the US - but wrong to send more weapons to Syria :US stepping up arming of Syrian rebels will only intensify civil war and chaos that lets terrorists like Al Qa'ida and Sunni extremists like Al Nusrah get more recruits and operate more freely ; and makes an Islamic state or a second civil war more likely than democracy

There can’t be anyone who doesn’t feel for the parents who lost their children in the senseless events in America; and President Obama is right to propose tightening gun ownership laws. He could save many Syrian children and adults from equally avoidable deaths if his administration stopped doing the opposite in Syria. The Obama administration has been “co-ordinating” the supply of arms to rebel groups in Syria and is also covertly supplying them with arms bought in Libya since Gadaffi’s overthrow. US and British Special forces are also active in Syria and more military “advisers” are to be sent – with advisers having been a euphemism for combatants since Vietnam at the latest. (1) – (2).

NATO governments claim this helps Syrian rebels protect civilians from Assad’s forces, but in reality some on both sides are targeting civilians – and the more intense the civil war gets the more easily terrorist groups including Al Qa’ida can operate in Syria, so arming the rebels gets civilians killed just as much as Russia arming Assad’s forces does.

Human Rights Watch have reported some armed opponents of Assad are targeting and killing civilians including employees of Syrian state television (3) – (4). Channel 4 News reporter Alex Thomson recently reported multiple consistent accounts from survivors and witnesses of Sunni Jihadists, opposed to Assad, massacring Alawite civilians in the town of Aqrab (5).

Many Syrian Christian refugees have also fled attacks by Sunni Jihadists allied to the rebels (6)

Terrorist car bombings are also common, each killing between several and dozens of civilians as collateral damage by targeting government buildings and even the family homes of member of the military or Assad supporters (7) – (9). Two such rebel attacks, one with a mortar and the other with a car bomb, each killed several schoolchildren in the last month (10) – (13).

The government, with it’s artillery, tanks and jets, kills more civilians, again many deliberately and many others by not worrying about “collateral damage” deaths when using bombings by air forces, artillery and tanks, due to it’s greater firepower and equal brutality, but though thousands of civilians have been killed by government forces, the opposition figures on this are exaggerated, with fighters killed in combat reported as civilians by many opposition groups (14) – (16).

While some FSA fighters have tortured and killed captured government soldiers and militia-men, most of the car bombing atrocities and the massacres of civilians committed by anti-Assad forces are not committed by the Free Syrian Army but more extreme groups like the Syrian Al Nusrah and international Jihadists including Al Qa’ida, many Iraqis recruited after Al Qa’ida took advantage of the chaos created in Iraq (17) – (19).

The Obama administration claims it’s “co-ordination” is to ensure that only moderates get weapons, funding and arms (20). If that’s true, it’s failing. The FSA say the Jihadist groups are the ones getting the most arms and money (21).

It’s possible this is because the Saudis and Qatari dictators favour Islamists over a democracy that might embarrass them (as some Syrian exile opposition leaders suggest), but equally possible that the US government actually favours arming Sunni extremists as they will be the most uncompromising against Assad (an Alawite) and his Iranian Shia allies – the same reason they “co-ordinated” with the Saudis and Pakistanis to arm, fund and train the Mujahedin in the 80s and the Taliban in the early 90s. Al Qa’ida and Al Nusrah, like the Taliban, consider Alawites and Shia to be “false Muslims” (22) – (24).

The peaceful part of the Syrian opposition to Assad oppose foreign interference and violence which is causing civil war and sectarianism. For instance exiled Syrian opposition leader Haytham Manna of the National Co-ordination Body for Democratic Change Abroad issued Three No’s – to violence, to sectarianism and to foreign intervention (25).

According to Haytham the US backed political leadership of the FSA, the Syrian National Council, also refuse to denounce Al Nusrah and continue to work along with them in the civil war (26).

As in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Afghanistan, the chaos created by foreign powers each arming their own proxies is providing an environment that terrorist and sectarian groups can thrive in. The phony threat that Assad might use WMD is also brought up. In fact as the BBC’s Defence correspondent reported, the evidence suggests Assad’s government is trying to secure WMD so there’s no risk of it being captured by terrorist groups like Al Qa’ida, as it’s done before in the past (27) – (28).

We’re given the impression that Assad has refused to make any significant democratic reforms. Despite the atrocities committed by his forces as much as the Jihadists, this is not true.

Assad changed the constitution last year to end the one party state in Syria, legalising opposition parties and held multi-party elections in which over 51% of Syrians voted (29).

That is a much more major reform – and supported by more of the population – than the fig leaves for reform, like powerless elected local councillors in Saudi, and powerless parliaments in Bahrain, Yemen and Kuwait, which the US and British governments welcome (30) – (33).

The Free Syrian Army rebels say they will get rid of the Jihadists once they’ve overthrown Assad, but if the Jihadists are the best armed and funded and trained rebel groups, how would they manage to? NATO governments will argue this is why they need to arm the FSA better – but the FSA is torturing and killing POWs – and the more the civil war intensifies the stronger the sectarian militias and Jihadist terrorist groups on both sides get.

Negotiation and opposing Assad’s regime through elections, rather than calling for it’s overthrow by force, would be a much more effective way to get real democracy in Syria, in the long run, than intensifying a civil war in which more people die each day and in which the only real winners are Al Qa’ida and their allies.


(1) = Washington Post 06 May 2012 ‘Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors’ money, U.S. coordination’,

(2) = Sunday Times 09 Dec 2012 ‘Covert US plan to arm rebels’, ; 1st to 3rd , 5th and 9th paragraphs ‘THE United States is launching a covert operation to send weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time as it ramps up military efforts to oust President Bashar al-Assad. Mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles will be sent through friendly Middle Eastern countries already supplying the rebels, according to well-placed diplomatic sources. The Americans have bought some of the weapons from the stockpiles of Muammar Gadaffi, the Libyan dictator killed last year. They include SA-7 missiles, which can be used to shoot down aircraft…President Barack Obama authorised clandestine CIA support earlier this year and both the US and Britain have had special forces and intelligence officers on the ground for some time…The US will send in more advisers to help with tactics and manage weapons supplies. British advisers are also expected to be sent. America and Britain are already training Jordanian and Turkish advisers to support the rebels.’

(3) = Human Rights Watch 20 Mar 2012 'Syria: Armed Opposition Groups Committing Abuses', opposition elements have carried out serious human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said today in a public letter to the Syrian National Council (SNC) and other leading Syrian opposition groups. Abuses include kidnapping, detention, and torture of security force members, government supporters, and people identified as members of pro-government militias, called shabeeha." as well as "executions by armed opposition groups of security force members and civilians."’

(4) = BBC News 27 Jun 2012 ‘Gunmen 'kill seven' at Syrian pro-Assad Ikhbariya TV’,

(5) = Channel 4 News 14 Dec 2012 ‘Was there a massacre in the Syrian town of Aqaba’,

(6) = Independent 02 Nov 2012 ‘The plight of Syria's Christians: 'We left Homs because they were trying to kill us'’,

(7) = Reuters 23 Dec 2011 'Analysis: Syria bombings signal deadlier phase of revolt', , 'Beirut-based commentator Rami Khouri said he doubted the government would have hit its own security targets, suggesting that the bombings could have been the work of armed rebels, who he said include hardline Salafi Islamists in their ranks....Hilal Khashan, political science professor at the American University of Beirut, also said he did not believe that the Syrian government was behind the bombings.'

(8) = New York Times 10 May 2012 'Dozens Killed in Large Explosions in Syrian Capital', ; 'Twin suicide car bombs that targeted a notorious military intelligence compound shook the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Thursday, killing and wounding hundreds of people ...It was the largest such terrorist attack since the uprising began 14 months ago, with the Health Ministry putting the toll at 55 dead and nearly 400 wounded — civilians and soldiers. '

(9) = Guardian 26 Oct 2012 ‘Syrian car bomb breaks Eid al-Adha ceasefire’,

(10) = A.P 04 Dec 2012 ‘Syria says 30 killed in mortar attack on school’,

(11) = AP 13 Dec 2012 ‘Syria State Media: Blast near Damascus Kills 16’,

(12) = Al Jazeera 13 Dec 2012 ‘Dozens killed in Syria bomb attacks’,

(13) = BBC News 13 Dec 2012 ‘Syria crisis: Bombs 'kill 24' in Damascus suburbs’,

(14) = Amnesty International Annual Report 2012 ,

(15) = BBC News 14 Oct 2012 ‘Human Rights Watch says Syria using cluster bombs’,

(16) Al Jazeera 13 Feb 2012 ‘Q&A: Nir Rosen on Syria's armed opposition’, (13th Question and answer ‘AJ: Who is being killed? NR: Every day the opposition gives a death toll, usually without any explanation of the cause of the deaths. Many of those reported killed are in fact dead opposition fighters, but the cause of their death is hidden and they are described in reports as innocent civilians killed by security forces, as if they were all merely protesting or sitting in their homes. Of course, those deaths still happen regularly as well.

(17) = HRW 17 Sep 2012 ‘Syria: End Opposition Use of Torture, Executions’,

(18) = Guardian 30 Jul 2012 ‘Al-Qaida turns tide for rebels in battle for eastern Syria’,

(19) = BBC News 02 Aug 2012 ‘Syria conflict: Jihadists' role growing’,

(20) = Washington Post 16 May 2012 ‘Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors’ money, U.S. coordination’,

(21) = Observer 03 Nov 2012 ‘Execution of Assad troops widens split among rebel fighter factions in Syria’, ; paragraphs 5 to 8 , 15 to 16 and final paragraph ; ‘Syrian Islamist groups…are not able to match the better-armed and funded global jihadist units, who are increasingly taking centre stage in the war for the north of the country…"This will soon mean that Jabhat al-Nusraf (an al-Qaida-aligned group) will be the only group capable of mounting the lethal operations on bases and security headquarters," said a leader of Liwat al-Tawheed, which has been a key player in the fighting in Aleppo. "It already means that we can't win without them."…Islamist groups in Aleppo say that they aim to do no more than oust the Assad regime. Most of their clerics and leaders reject the ideology of the jihadists, who openly view the battle in Syria as a vital phase of a global sectarian war….Another Liwat al-Tawheed commander said…"Compare what we have to what al-Nusraf are getting. They are not getting weapons from outside, but they are buying them in Syria with large amounts of cash. They are very well supplied and they are not saying where they are getting the money from."

(22) = Guardian 18 Dec 2012 ‘Syria: after Assad falls, what then?’,

(23) = Steve Coll (2004) , 'Ghost Wars : The secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden' , Penguin , London , Chapters 16 to 18

(24) = Ahmed Rashid (2000) 'Taliban', Pan MacMillan, London, 2011, Chapters 10 to 12

(25) = Guardian 22 Jun 2012 ‘Syria's opposition has been led astray by violence’,

(26) = Guardian 18 Dec 2012 ‘Syria: after Assad falls, what then?’,

(27) = Media Lens 12 Dec 2012 ‘Won't Get Fooled Again? Hyping Syria's WMD 'Threat'’,

(28) = BBC News 05 Dec 2012 ‘Fears grow for fate of Syria's chemical weapons’,

(29) = BBC News 16 May 2012 ‘Syria election results show support for reforms, says Assad’,  3rd paragraph ‘The election commission said on Tuesday that turnout was 51% for the polls, which the opposition said were a farce.’ 18th paragraph…The polls were the first held under a new constitution adopted in February, which dropped an article giving the Baath Party unique status as the "leader of the state and society" in Syria. It also allowed new parties to be formed, albeit those not based on religious, tribal, regional, denominational or professional affiliation, nor those based abroad.

(30) = City Mayors Feb 2005 ‘First local election underway in Saudi Arabia but women voters will have to wait until 2009’,

(31) = Gulf News (UAE) 31 Mar 2008 ‘Frustrated council members prepared to quit’,

(32) = BBC News 23 Nov 2012 ‘Bahrain reconciliation distant amid slow reform pace’,

(33) = See the blog post on this link and sources 25 to 30 at the bottom of it on the lack of democracy and powerlessness of parliament in Kuwait

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Supreme Court Judges in Egypt have little legitimacy as appointees of Mubarak dictatorship, but Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, though elected, need to compromise further on drafting a new constitution - while the opposition need to remember Morsy and the Brotherhood are elected and that another long period of instability could lead to a military coup or push the Brotherhood into the arms of the military

While there are some serious problems with the draft Egyptian constitution, much of the criticism of President Mohammed Morsy by the Egyptian opposition and much of the media has badly misrepresented the facts. Morsy, Egypt’s first democratically elected President since Independence in 1953, over-ruled judges most of whom are appointees of the former dictator Mubarak or of the military (1).

These judges have not only found almost everyone charged with killing, injuring or ordering the killing of unarmed protesters under Mubarak not guilty, they have also attempted to dissolve the elected Egyptian parliament and were considering dissolving a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution which includes representatives of trade unions, Coptic Christians, Al Azhar (an Islamic theological university, but one critical of the Muslim Brotherhood) – and this was after the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court judges had dissolved the previous Constituent Assembly, with the new Assembly being much more representative as a result (2) – (5).

Morsi’s decree merely allowed him to over-rule the dictatorship era judges until a new constitution was in place. This was to be for eight months as the constituent assembly finished drafting the new constitution (6).

(Some members of the opposition say he should have maintained the 1971 Constitution, but the 1971 constitution gives the President the power to to appoint or sack the Prime Minister and the entire cabinet (Article 141) and to choose when to dissolve the upper and lower houses of parliament to call new elections for them (e.g Article 204) (7). The new draft constitution says the President has to get parliament’s approval for his choice of Prime Minister and to go to war. So the draft constitution puts more limits on the President’s power than the existing 1971 one does.(8)- (10))

When the opposition claimed that Morsy was taking too many powers to himself and accused him of making himself a dictator he brought the referendum on the new constitution forward to 15th December so he would have the powers for less than a month (11). Since then the opposition first said they wanted the referendum on the new constitution delayed until a wider range of people got input into the new draft constitution, before saying they want it cancelled entirely (12).

The draft constitution written by the Constituent Assembly, while it includes some very questionable Islamic fundamentalist aspects (e.g the only religions permitted are Muslim, Christian and Jewish ; and religious education is to be a core subject in primary and secondary schools) is in many ways much more progressive than the 1971 constitution – for instance including equality for women (marred by a qualification that this be where it would not conflict with Islam) and the right of all employees to have a share of profits of any firm or co-operative they work for, as well as for some employees to sit on the board of directors of any firm , plus a guarantee of the right to adequate housing, transportation, food and clothing, provided by the state where necessary (13).

The lack of protections in the Constitution seems to be far more serious for Shia Muslims and Baha’i (both considered “false” Muslims by Sunnis, the Muslim majority in Egypt) than Coptic Christians or women. As with Burmese Rohingya Muslims in Burma being labelled “not Burmese” by the Buddhist majority, the Sunni majority in Egypt say Egyptian Shia should “go back to their own country” (14).

Some of the claims that the draft constitution makes no reference to womens’ rights are wrong if you read it though (15) – (16).

Gang rapes of women in Egypt are still common, as they were under Mubarak, but whether these attacks are organised or permitted by the new government is not certain (17).

While the draft constitution makes many references to Islam and Sharia Law it says Al Azhar – Cairo’s main Islamic university – will decide on what does and does not conform to Islam or Sharia. Al Azhar’s current head was appointed by Mubarak, is fiercely critical of the Musim Brotherhood and is widely considered much more moderate than his predecessor, so any Egyptian version of Islamic law is likely to be much more moderate than that of the Taliban (18). This could change though, if a more extreme leadership takes over Al Azhar – and this is one of the major problems with the draft constitution. However if a majority of Egyptians vote for it, it will be hard to call this undemocratic.

The 1971 Constitution also says Sharia was to be the main source of legislation and it’s section on women’s rights is almost identical to the draft constitution’s. The only areas in which the draft constitution seems to be less progressive are in switching from freedom of religion to only allowing Islam, Judaism or Christianity; and in banning the NDP party which was Mubarak’s party and which had banned the Muslim Brotherhood (19).

Of course a progressive constitution does not guarantee progressive policies – and much of the opposition accuse the Brotherhood of continuing Mubarak’s neo-liberal policies on the orders of the IMF (20).

The opposition say Morsi has had his own people killed, just like Mubarak. Yet it seems so far that both sides’ supporters are killing one another (21). It’s possible Morsi is using Brotherhood thugs the way Mubarak used hired thugs to attack his opponents and claim no involvement, but it’s equally possible that both sides’ supporters are simply getting out of control.

Some revolutionaries seem to believe that any government which does not give them exactly what they or their party wants is illegitimate. The reality is that no government can ever give everyone exactly what they want, because there are too many different people and groups who want conflicting things. Morsi’s government is far from perfect, but it is at least democratically elected, so has some legitimacy whether the opposition, I or anyone else, likes or dislikes it’s policies and views.

While some opposition leaders, like Ayman Nour, have agreed to talks with Morsi, others like El Baradei, who refuse, may simply need to accept that they are in a minority and they will have to compromise to get even a little of what they want (22).

Of course being elected is not a blank cheque to do whatever you like without giving the people who elected you a say on it, but Morsi is providing the people with a say through a referendum.

Ideally a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution should be elected directly, rather than indirectly by the elected parliament, as with the current Egyptian one. The opposition seem to have decided that they will not accept anything except new elections months after the recent ones, on the grounds that they didn’t like the results of the last one. That is not reasonable and it is not likely that the results of new elections would be different.

All that the opposition’s refusal to talk to the elected President is doing is strengthening the hand of the military and former members of Mubarak’s dictatorship. Likely results could be a military coup and another military regime or dictatorship, or, even more likely, pushing the Muslim Brotherhood into the arms of the military.

(There has already been a sign of the latter in Morsy’s decree giving the military the power to arrest and try civilians until the 15th December referendum. The draft constitution also makes a General elected by other military officers the Commander in Chief of the military – rather than the elected head of government being the CinC as in most democracies. There are also disturbing allegations that anti-Morsi protesters are being tortured by Muslim Brotherhood members before being handed over to police to be jailed (23) – (25)).

Neither outcome would be progress towards most of the revolutionaries’ aims. Much of the draft constitution would be. If they want it changed (and some of it badly needs changed) they should do what people have to do for a democracy to function – start discussing it with their opponents and negotiate a compromise that keeps the military and the former Mubarak regime cronies side-lined.

Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood also have to make compromises – starting with ending their refusal to delay the referendum on the new constitution until a draft more acceptable to the secular minority in Egypt and to religious minorities can be agreed on. This does not mean they have to accept the rulings of a constitutional court made up of appointees and sympathisers of the former dictator though (26).

The opposition have to remember that an indefinite delay in putting a new constitution into place could play into the hands of the military and former Mubarak regime members though, who could use the continuing instability as an excuse for a military coup that excludes any elected government.

Morsi has to remember that being in the majority in a democracy does not mean you can ignore the wishes of the minority entirely – and that around half the people who elected him were voting against Shafik and the Mubarak regime remnants rather than for him or the Brotherhood.

It’s possible that Morsi could yet turn out to be a would-be dictator and the Brotherhood could yet try to enforce fundamentalist Islam on all Egyptians, but a division between the secular and religious opposition to the former dictatorship and military rule could turn this into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Dialogue with them would be much better than making the Brotherhood likely to ally with the military, as has happened with Islamic fundamentalist parties and the military in Pakistan.

And if the opposition believe they can overthrow an elected President and an elected parliament as easily as they overthrew Mubarak, they are likely to be kidding themselves. In a democracy sometimes you have to accept election results that you don’t like.


(1) = CNN 23 Nov 2012 ‘Egypt's Morsy says courts can't overturn him’, ; 2nd and 3rd paragraphs ‘Morsy also ordered retrials and reinvestigations in the deaths of protesters during last year's uprising against strongman Hosni Mubarak. That could lead to the reprosecution of Mubarak, currently serving a life prison term, and several acquitted officials who served under him…The order for retrials could please some Egyptians who've expressed disappointment that security officers and others have escaped legal consequences over last year's protester crackdown by the Mubarak regime.’

(2) = BBC News 14 Jun 2012 ‘Egypt supreme court calls for parliament to be dissolved’,

(3) = BBC News 09 Jul 2012 ‘Egypt court challenges Mursi's reopening of parliament’,

(4) = New York Times 05 Dec 2012 ‘Egyptian Court Postpones Ruling on Constitutional Assembly’, ; 1st paragraph ‘Egypt’s constitutional court on Sunday put off its much-awaited ruling on the legitimacy of the Islamist-led legislative assembly that drafted a new charter last week, accusing a crowd of Islamists outside the courthouse of intimidating its judges’

(5) = New York Times 05 Dec 2012 ‘Egyptian Court Postpones Ruling on Constitutional Assembly’, ; 6th paragraph ‘Egyptian courts had previously dissolved both the elected Parliament and an earlier Constitutional Assembly, and the breakup of the current one would have completely undone the transition. President Mohamed Morsi cited the pending ruling on Nov. 22 when he put his own edicts above judicial review until ratification of the constitution, saying that he intended to protect the assembly until it finished its work.’

(6) = Egypt Independent 22 Nov 2012 ‘Morsy issues new constitutional declaration’,

(7) = Guardian 10 Dec 2012 ‘Egypt's hopes betrayed by Morsi’, ; 9th paragraph ‘A leader who wanted to unite the country would use our 1971 constitution until we got through this difficult time. But once again we have a presidency that would see Egyptians murdering Egyptians on the streets before it puts aside party politics and tries to lead honestly in the interests of the people.

(8) = Egypt State Information Service ‘Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt 1971’,

(9) = Reuters 30 Nov 2012 ‘Factbox: Egypt's draft constitution’, ; ‘POWERS - The constitution limits the president to two four-year terms. The president must secure parliament's approval for his choice of prime minister. The head of state can declare war with parliament's approval, but must consult a newly defined national defense council, in which generals outnumber civilians.’

(10) = Egypt 12 Feb 2012 ‘Egypt's draft constitution translated’,

(11) = BBC News 10 Dec 2012 ‘Egypt: Who holds the power?’,

(12) = Channel 4 News 09 Dec 2012 ‘Cairo protests: opposition demands referendum cancellation’,

(13) = Egypt State Information Service ‘Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt 1971’,

(14) = New Statesman 03 Jul 2012 ‘The plight of Egypt’s forgotten Shia minority’,

(15) = Amnesty International 30 Nov 2012 ‘Egypt’s new constitution limits fundamental freedoms and ignores the rights of women’,

(16) = See (8) above

(17) = Unreported World, Channel 4 (UK), Series 2012, ‘ Episode 14 - Egypt: Sex, Mobs and Revolution’,

(18) = Al Jazeera 28 May 2010 ‘Egypt appoints senior Sunni figure’,

(19) = BBC News 30 Nov 2012 ‘Comparison of Egypt's suspended and draft constitutions’,

(20) = Guardian 10 Dec 2012 ‘Egypt's hopes betrayed by Morsi’, ; by Ahdaf Soueif;  4th paragraph ‘Concerning the economy it's become clear that the Brotherhood's programme is basically Mubarak's: Morsi visited China accompanied by some of the biggest business allies of Mubarak; the banking communities talk of deals already being made by high-ranking officials and their relatives, and borrowing from the IMF and the World Bank is suddenly not sinful. Meanwhile, the president is able to issue the wildest constitutional declarations but is unable to make the smallest step towards establishing minimum and maximum wages.

(21) = Independent 06 Dec 2012 ‘Egyptian military halts Cairo clashes after seven are killed’, 6th and 15th paragraphs ‘Officials said seven people had been killed and 350 wounded in the violence, for which each side blamed the other. Six of the dead were Morsi supporters, the Muslim Brotherhood said… Rival factions used rocks, petrol bombs and guns in the clashes around the presidential palace.

(22) = AP / Time World 10 Dec 2012 ‘Gunmen Attack Egyptian Opposition Protesters’, ; 9th to 10th paragraphs ‘Cracks in the opposition’s unity first appeared last weekend when one of its leading figures, veteran opposition politician Ayman Nour, accepted an invitation by Morsi to attend a “national dialogue” meeting. On Monday, another key opposition figure, El-Sayed Badawi of the Wafd party, met Morsi at the presidential palace. The opposition has said it would not talk to Morsi until he shelves the draft constitution and postpones the referendum.

(23) = Human Rights Watch 10 Dec 2012 ‘Egypt: Morsy Law Invites Military Trials of Civilians’,

(24) = See (8) above

(25) = Al-Masry Al-Youhm 06 Dec 2012 ‘Al-Masry Al-Youm Reports On Brotherhood Torture Chambers’,

(26) = Voice of America 08 Dec 2012 ‘Egyptian Islamist Parties Reject Referendum Delay’,