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ICC Rejects Muslim Brotherhood Request to Probe Egypt's Military

ICC says it rejected a bid by the Muslim Brotherhood to probe the military's alleged crimes against humanity in Egypt.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/2/2014, 4:16 AM

Muslim Brotherhood supporters
Muslim Brotherhood supporters
AFP photo

The International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Thursday it had rejected a bid by the Muslim Brotherhood of deposed president Mohammed Morsi to probe the military's alleged crimes against humanity in Egypt, AFP reports.

"A communication seeking to accept the jurisdiction of the ICC over Egypt has been dismissed as not presented on behalf of the concerned State," the ICC said in a statement quoted by the news agency.

The request had been made on behalf of Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party. The Islamist was ousted by Egypt's military in July in what his supporters say was a coup.

The Brotherhood in December filed a complaint with the ICC seeking an investigation of alleged crimes against humanity committed since June 2013, according to AFP.

A crackdown targeting Mori's supporters since July has left more than 1,400 people dead and 15,000 in jail.

The complaint included alleged evidence of murder, unlawful imprisonment, torture, persecution against an identifiable group and enforced disappearance of persons.

It also included claims of targeted shootings and bulldozers running demonstrators over.

On August 14, at least 627 people were killed when security forces stormed Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya Square to disperse a sit-in by Morsi's backers.

The complaint named individual suspects in the Egyptian military but the lawyers did not wish to divulge them publicly.

Egypt has not ratified the ICC's founding Rome Statute so the court's prosecutor can only investigate the country in response to a request from the UN Security Council calls or the Egyptian government.

"The Registry verified with the Egyptian authorities whether or not such a communication was transmitted on behalf of the State of Egypt, as a result of which, the Registrar did not receive a positive confirmation," the ICC said, according to AFP.

Earlier this week, a court in Minya, Egypt, sentenced 683 supporters of Morsi to death, including leading members of his Muslim Brotherhood.

The mass trial was condemned by the world. The White House said it was “deeply troubled” by the death sentences and called on Egyptian leaders “to take a stand against this illogical action and dangerous precedent, recognizing that the repression of peaceful dissent will fuel the instability and radicalization that Egypt says it wishes to prevent.”

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, also denounced the mass death sentence, saying it breached international law and urged Cairo authorities to ensure defendants' rights to a fair and timely trial.

Egypt dismissed the criticism, with its justice minister saying on Wednesday the international condemnation was "unacceptable interference in the judiciary affairs."