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Morsi's family to sue El Sisi for 'kidnapping' former president

The family of the deposed Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, has accused the country's military generals of kidnapping him, saying it holds the army responsible for his safety and security.

Osama Mohammed Morsi, son of Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi. The Morsi  family is to take legal action against Egypt's former army chief and now defence minister Gen Abdel Fattah El Sisi, for ‘kidnapping’ the Islamist president.
Osama Mohammed Morsi, son of Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi. The Morsi family is to take legal action against Egypt's former army chief and now defence minister Gen Abdel Fattah El Sisi, for ‘kidnapping’ the Islamist president.

CAIRO // The family of the deposed Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, yesterday accused the country's military generals of kidnapping him, saying it holds the army responsible for his safety and security.

It was the first statement from Mr Morsi's family since the military overthrew him on July 3 and took him into custody. The former president has been held without communication since then. Government officials have said he is safe and is being held for his own protection.

"We hold the leaders of the bloody military coup fully responsible for the safety and security of the president," the family said.

Hundreds of Mr Morsi's supporters, meanwhile, marched to the public prosecutor's office and the defence ministry in Cairo, chanting antimilitary slogans and carrying pictures of the toppled president.

One of the Mr Morsi's sons, Osama, described his father's detention as the "embodiment of the abduction of popular will and a whole nation", and said the family would "take all legal actions" to end his detention.

"What happened is a crime of kidnapping," said Osama, who is a lawyer. "I can't find any legal means to have access to him."

He said that the family met with Mr Morsi for the last time on July 3, shortly before his removal. Since then, they have had no contact with him.

"We warn Abdel Fatah El Sisi and his coup leaders against harming the life, health or safety of the legitimate president, our father," he said.

Gen El Sisi, the country's defence minister and army chief, led the military's removal of Mr Morsi after four days of mass protests demanding the president step down.

Shaimaa, Mr Morsi's daughter, also said that the family was planning to take legal action in Egypt and abroad.

"We are taking local and international legal measures against Gen El Sisi, the leader of the bloody military coup, and his putschist group," she said.

She voiced dismay at "the silence of rights organisations and civil society over the crime of kidnapping the legitimate president", who was voted into office last year.

Mr Morsi's family's comments came as his supporters pressed demands for his reinstatement yesterday.

Members of the Shura council, Egypt's upper chamber, held a defiant meeting in Cairo's Rabaa Al Adawiya mosque.

The council was dominated by Islamists under Mr Morsi's presidency and held all legislative powers. But Egypt's new authorities dissolved the council when they toppled Mr Morsi.

Hundreds of the deposed president's backers also marched to the public prosecutor's office and the defence ministry on Monday.

Chanting "Sisi is a killer" and anti-police slogans, demonstrators hung pictures of Mr Morsi on the gates of the public prosecutor's office.

"I believe we will restore him by more pressure on the streets," said Mohammed Awad, one of the protesters.

Other people at the march denounced the interim authorities as illegitimate.

Supporters of Mr Morsi also rallied in the Abbasiya area of Cairo, near the defence ministry.

On Sunday, the interim cabinet held its first meeting and urged all parties to keep protests peaceful after weeks of demonstrations across the country.

The cabinet meeting also focused on Egypt's battered economy and efforts to boost the security situation in the country, which has been increasingly precarious since Mr Morsi's removal.

Attacks in the Sinai peninsula killed four security services personnel and two civilians earlier the same day.

* Agence France-Presse and Associated Press