World View: Egypt's 'Terrorist Group' Designation of Muslim Brotherhood May be Illegal

This morning's key headlines from

  • Calls for Erdogan to resign due to Turkey's corruption scandal
  • Egypt's 'terrorist group' designation of Muslim Brotherhood may be illegal
  • North Korea's Kim Jong-un was 'very drunk' when ordering purges

Calls for Erdogan to resign due to Turkey's corruption scandal

Erdogan at press conference on Wednesday (Hurriyet)
Erdogan at press conference on Wednesday (Hurriyet)

Turkey was shaken on Wednesday morning when three ministers in the cabinet of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan all resigned, and one of them called for Erdogan's resignation. In the case of each minister, his son has been the target of a wide-ranging corruption investigation that resulted in the arrest of 52 people, including bureaucrats and well-known businessmen. The corruption investigation involves billions of dollars, including illegal money laundering through Iran, and bribes and kickbacks for construction projects.

I made a mistake when I first reported this story last week. At that time, I wrote that 29 senior police officials in the Istanbul and Ankara police department had been forced to step down because they were involved in the corruption. That wasn't true. The reason that they were forced to step down is because they were leading the investigation against the corrupt government officials in Erdogan's administration, and Erdogan arranged for the police officers to be fired.

Late on Wednesday, Erdogan replaced ten ministers in his cabinet, in an effort to save his job and his government. He has denounced the investigation as a plot by foreign and domestic forces to undermine him. Zaman (Ankara) and AP

Egypt's 'terrorist group' designation of Muslim Brotherhood may be illegal

On Wednesday, the Sinai-based terrorist group Ansar Jerusalem has claimed credit for Tuesday's car bombing in a city north of Cairo, killing 11 people and injuring scores. ( "24-Dec-13 World View -- Sinai based Ansar Jerusalem kills 11 in car bomb attack in Egypt")

The Muslim Brotherhood condemned the car bombing, but most of Egypt's public perceive the Brotherhood to be responsible. There was widespread rioting against the Brotherhood late on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, the military government declared the Brotherhood to be a "terrorist organization," giving the police additional powers to arrest Brotherhood members and seize Brotherhood property.

However, human rights activists are saying that the declaration is unfounded and illegal According to human rights lawyer Malek Adly:

"It is a problem. This is an administrative decision and not a legislative one, as only the interim president has a legislative right to issue decisions and law, not the cabinet.

I highly doubt that those who took the decision thought about its legal background thoroughly. It would have been better to wait for the court to issue a verdict to consider the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

There is a hysteria in the street because of the failure of security to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood and I personally believe that there are some parties in the government marketing to the idea that if we declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group all our problems in Egypt would be solved, which is untrue.

Muslim Brotherhood activists say that they'll continue with their anti-government protests, despite the terrorist designation. Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Al-Jazeera

North Korea's Kim Jong-un was 'very drunk' when ordering purges

North Korea's child dictator, Kim Jong-un, was "very drunk" when he order the execution of his uncle's two aides, according to reports. These were aides to Kim's 67 year old uncle, Jang Song-thaek, and they were executed two weeks before Jang himself was very publicly dragged out of a Workers' Party meeting in a televised humiliation. "11-Dec-13 World View -- Purge of Kim Jong-un's uncle signals N. Korean 'reign of terror'" Jang was then executed a few days later, as part of a larger string of purges and executions.

According to the reports, the drunken child dictator ordered the executions because Jang and his aides were refusing to give control of lucrative trade deals with China over to the military. These trade deals, for resources like clams, crabs and coal, make huge profits for North Korea. The Diplomat and Joongang Daily

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