|Egypt intensifies crackdown on Islamists||
Egyptian authorities will bar 55,000 unlicensed clerics from preaching in mosques in the latest move against sympathizers of deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, the minister of religious endowments said on Tuesday.
Egyptian authorities have been cracking down on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood since the army toppled him on July 3.
Minister of Endowments Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa said the clerics lack licenses to preach and were considered to be fundamentalist and a threat to the Egypt's security.
"The decision is only meant to legalize the preaching process during Fridays' mass prayers and make only those authorized to do it, do it, Gomaa told Reuters.
Authorities moved to crush the Brotherhood following the overthrow of Morsi, Egypt's first democratically leader. More than 2,000 Islamist activists have been arrested and most of the Brotherhood's leaders, including Morsi, jailed on charges of inciting or taking part in violence. Some have also been accused of terrorism or murder.
Over the same period, more than 1,000 people have been killed in political violence. Most were protesters killed by security forces breaking up pro-Morsi camps in Cairo. About 100 were members of the security forces.
The military-led authorities consider the Brotherhood a terrorist group and discussions are underway on the possibility of banning it.
In Geneva, Amnesty International called on Tuesday for an independent investigation into killings by the security forces as well as torture and violations of the rights to free speech and assembly.
The military's overthrow of Morsi unleashed an "extreme level of political violence", the London-based group told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
"Between 14 and 18 August, at least 1,089 people were killed, many due to the use of excessive, grossly disproportionate and unwarranted lethal force by security forces," said Peter Splinter, Amnesty representative in Geneva.
A impartial investigation was urgently needed into human rights violations, he said.
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader