In an abuse of prosecutorial power reminiscent of the deposed Mubarak regime, the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi has opened an investigation into opposition leaders on suspicion of treason.
The Associated Press reports:
Egypt's chief prosecutor ordered an investigation on Thursday into allegations that opposition leaders committed treason by inciting supporters to overthrow Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
The probe by a Morsi-appointed prosecutor was launched a day after the president called for a dialogue with the opposition to heal rifts opened in the bitter fight over an Islamist-drafted constitution just approved in a referendum. The opposition decried the investigation as a throwback to Hosni Mubarak's regime, when the law was used to smear and silence opponents.
The probe was almost certain to sour the already tense political atmosphere in the country.
Two former presidential candidates are targets of investigation, including Nobel laureate Mohammed El Baredei.
The use of the law to prosecute--and persecute--political opponents was a feature of the Mubarak regime, and many other "revolutionary" regimes besides.
George Orwell wrote in Animal Farm:
Napoleon decreed that there should be a full investigation into Snowball's activities...
'Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon,' announced Squealer, speaking very slowly and firmly, 'has stated categorically--categorically, comrade--that Snowball was Jones's agent from the very beginning--yes, and from long before the Revolution was even thought of.'
Orwell was alluding to Stalin and Trotsky, but it is the common fate of illiberal revolutions to end in tyranny.