Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Osama Mohamed Mursi, the son of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi, said yesterday that his family is determined to appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for an inquiry into “the facts of his father’s kidnapping.”
During a press conference held Monday by the Mursi family at the Egyptian Syndicate of Engineers in central Cairo, Osama warned against any compromise of his father’s safety on behalf of those he described as “putschists.”
The army has been holding the former president in an undisclosed location since his removal from office on July 3, following overwhelming public pressure. The military says it took Mursi into custody in order to ensure his own security and safety. Egyptian authorities affirm that he is being treated properly.
Osama rejected his father’s detention, saying that “what is happening is a violation of the freedom of Dr. Mursi—the legitimate president of the country. It is a farce by any standards.” He also condemned press reports claiming that Mursi’s detention had been ordered by judicial authorities on espionage charges.
Osama, who is the former president’s third son, stated: “We warn [the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces and minister of defense, Abdel-Fattah] El-Sisi and his putschist staff against threatening the life of the legitimate president of the republic, Mohamed Mursi.”
The only daughter of Mohamed Mursi, Shaimaa, who was also present at the press conference, affirmed that the family is “taking local and international legal measures against Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the leader of the bloody military coup, and his putschist group.”
Osama, who works as a lawyer, denounced the statements of the military spokesman, Col. Ahmed Mohamed Ali, that Mursi’s incarceration was “for his own safety,” saying that “there is no legal basis for detaining someone for their own safety.”
Similarly, Heba Morayef, Egypt director of the New York-based Human Rights Watch, explained that the “arrest, and that of his advisors, is completely illegal.”
The press conference was held by the ousted president’s third son, Osama, his youngest son, Abdullah, and his daughter, Shaimaa. They appeared together on a stage at the Syndicate of Engineers, an institution dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. It was the first such move to be taken by Mursi’s family since his deposal and arrest.
The wife of the former president, Mrs. Najla Ali Mahmoud, was not present. It is not known whether she is being held with her husband.
For its part, the military has shown concern for the security situation throughout the country. Roughly one hundred people have been killed as a result of the violence that has swept Egypt in the wake the Mohamed Mursi’s ouster and the ensuing clampdown on leading Muslim Brotherhood members.
The military stated earlier in the month that pro-Mursi protesters had attempted to storm the Republican Guard headquarters, where the ousted president was believed to have been interned. That act resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilian deaths.