Egyptian Military Backed Out Of Prisoner-Release Deal That Could Have Averted Killings: Sources
CAIRO — A week before the Egyptian government ordered Wednesday’s deadly clearing of two Muslim Brotherhood protest camps, military leaders and the Brotherhood very nearly came to an agreement that involved a prisoner release and other measures that might have averted the catastrophe, The Huffington Post has learned.
The notion of such a plan, mediated by a handful of diplomats from the U.S. and Europe — including U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and EU Special Representative Bernardino Leon — was first reported on Wednesday by Reuters. HuffPost has learned that the terms of the proposed deal would have seen the Muslim Brotherhood reduce the size of their protest camps by half, and the military release two notable prisoners: Saad El-Katatni, the chairman of the Brotherhood’s political party who was arrested during the military takeover in July, and Abou Elela Mady, the chairman of the Islamist al-Wasat Party who was locked up in the aftermath.
Brotherhood leaders had agreed in principle to the plan, but in the end the military-backed government declined to take part, sources say.