Insult charges on rise under Mohammed Morsi

CAIRO — President Mohammed Morsi’s first 200 days in office have seen more lawsuits filed on charges of ‘‘insulting the president’’ than all Egyptian rulers since 1892, a leading rights group said, while another report laid out charges of continued police brutality since the revolution.

About 24 lawsuits for insulting Morsi have been filed against journalists and activists since his election in June, the Arab Network for Human Rights said in a report. Under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, four such cases were filed, the group said. Only one case was filed under Anwar Sadat, and five under King Farouk, it said.

The report, issued days before the second anniversary of the start of the 2011 uprising that ousted Mubarak, comes as Morsi faces growing criticism at home over his stewardship of the Arab world’s most populous nation.


His critics — among them secularists, minority Christians, and youth activists — charge him with devoting more energy to cementing the power of the Muslim Brotherhood than to running the country. They plan mass rallies on Jan. 25 against what they describe as the ‘‘Brotherhoodization’’ of Egypt.

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Morsi has vowed to uphold press freedom. The Brotherhood has said the media are biased against Islamists, and accused it of stoking unrest that has hampered economic recovery and led to protests and clashes.

Bloomberg News