UN chief Ban Ki-moon has voiced concern over arrests of members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Those worries have been echoed by the US, which is still considering what approach to take with the regime.
The UN Secretary General on Thursday told the interim Egyptian leadership that it should respect the rights of all citizens, voicing particular anxiety about the recent spate of arrests of Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
In a telephone call to Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammad Kamal Amr, Ban stressed that there should be no retribution against the Brotherhood, or any other political party.
The UN head "expressed deep concern about continued detentions in Egypt and arrest warrants issued against Muslim Brotherhood leaders and others," said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.
"He reminded the foreign minister of Egypt's international obligations and the need to fully respect the right to freedom of association, speech and due process," said Nesirky. "He made clear that there is no place for retribution or for the exclusion of any major party or community in Egypt."
A number of arrests took place immediately after the toppling of the government of President Mohammed Morsi.
'Not in line with reconciliation'
The White House made clear that there were also anxieties in Washington about the detentions. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said there had been many arrests in recent days "targeting specific groups."
"The arrests we have seen over the past several days targeting specific groups are not in line with the national reconciliation that the interim government and the military say they are pursuing," said Psaki. Washington has been reticent to call the transfer of power a coup. The use of the word would make it no longer legal for the US to provide financial support to the powerful Egyptian military.
Egypt's public prosecutor on Wednesday ordered the arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and several other senior Islamists. They are accused of inciting violence after 51 people, mainly Morsi supporters, died on Monday.
Deposed President Mohammed Morsi has not been seen in public since the army takeover last week that led to the appointment of senior judge Adly Mansour as president. Morsi was said by Egypt's Foreign Ministry to be being held "in a safe place, for his safety."
rc/dr (AFP, AP, Reuters)