The family of Egypt’s ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi said Sunday that he will not compromise or negotiate with the military-backed regime following his overthrow.
Morsi was ousted in a popularly-backed coup on July 3, following mass protests against his rule, after which the military launched a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, jailing many of its leaders and clashing with its supporters at demonstrations.
He has been held incommunicado at an unknown location and has not been seen since, though he has spoken to his family twice and was visited by EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and an African Union delegation last month.
“The president will not retreat, or negotiate or accept compromises especially after all the martyrs, the wounded, the arrested and missing,” his family said in a statement, published on the Muslim Brotherhood’s website.
“No matter how much they try to keep him away, the president will not retreat from a return to the democratic path, even if his soul is the price of this democratic path,” the family said in the statement.
Morsi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood members will face a trial starting on November 4 on charges of incitement to violence and murder of opponents.
The case Morsi was charged in dates back to one of the deadliest bouts of violence during his year in office. At least 100,000 protesters gathered outside the presidential palace on December 4, protesting a decree Morsi issued to protect his decisions from judicial oversight and a highly disputed draft constitution that was hurriedly adopted by the Islamist-dominated parliament.
The next day, Islamist groups and supporters of Morsi attacked protesters who had camped outside the presidential palace, sparking street battles that left at least 10 dead and bring accusation by opponents that Morsi relied on organized mobs to suppress the sit-in.
The prosecution accuses Morsi of inciting his supporters and aides to murder his opponents by forcefully breaking up the sit-in.
Officials from the Brotherhood and its political party denied using violence and said their supporters were defending the palace. They accused opponents of starting the battles and forcing away police that had been guarding the area.
On Friday, demonstrators gathered in Cairo and other major cities to commemorate 100 days since Morsi’s ouster.
Last Sunday, 59 protesters, mostly pro-Morsi, died in clashes with security forces and civilians as they pushed their way toward Tahrir during pro-military celebrations commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1973 war with Israel.
The United States, meanwhile, decided to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt, responding to the military ouster of the nation’s first democratically elected president and the crackdown on protesters that has sunk the country into violent turmoil.