UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Egypt’s interim authorities to release ousted President Mohammed Morsi, his spokesman said in a statement on Thursday evening.  “The Secretary-General urges the interim authorities to end arbitrary arrests and other reported forms of harassment,” according to the statement, which came on the eve of rallies in Egypt by supporters of Morsi,the overthrown leader, and the Egyptian army on Friday.  “Mr Mohammed Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood leaders currently in detention should be released or have their cases reviewed transparently without delay,” the UN chief said. Ban Ki-moon also urged all the parties in Egypt “to act with maximum restraint” and called on “the interim authorities to ensure law and order along with guaranteeing the safety and security of all Egyptians.”

“The secretary-general is following closely, and with growing concern, developments in Egypt,” said a statement issued here by Ban’s spokesman.

“The secretary-general once again urges all sides to act with maximum restraint,” the statement said. “He supports the rights of all Egyptians to hold peaceful protests.”