Saturday, March 30, 2013

Clashes Erupt Alexandria and Zagazig in Egypt

Clashes erupt in Egypt's Alexandria and Zagazig

Eight people injured in Alexandria during demonstrations against President Mohamed Morsi

AP & Ahram Online, Friday 29 Mar 2013

Activists clash with unknown assailants in Cairo's Tahrir Square

Clashes have erupted in two cities in northern Egypt between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi during opposition demonstrations on Friday.

Hundreds of unidentified assailants - accused by protesters of being Muslim Brotherhood members - threw stones and firebombs at protesters rallying against the Brotherhood Friday in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

The clashes in the coastal city also caused the stoppage of trains.

According to Ahram’s Arabic-language news website, Mohamed Sultan, the head of Egypt's ambulance services, said that at least eight had been injured during the clashes in Alexandria.

Protesters and riot police also clashed in the Nile Delta city of Zagazig, after demonstrators tried to torch a Muslim Brotherhood office.

The protests are part of a nationwide call to rally against what the protesters claim are unfair actions that Morsi has taken against the opposition.

On Monday, Egypt's prosecutor-general issued arrest warrants for five of Egypt's most prominent democracy advocates and activists over allegations that they instigated violence last week near the Brotherhood's headquarters in Cairo, where nearly 200 people were injured.

April 6 protesters clash with police Friday

Ahram Online , Friday 29 Mar 2013

Four arrested and dozens injured as hundreds of April 6 Youth Movement members taunt interior ministry at a protest in Nasr City, Cairo

Clashes broke out between hundreds of protesters and police in the early hours of Friday in front of the residence of Egypt’s interior minister in Cairo’s Nasr City district, Ahram’s Arabic-language news website reported.

Around 400 members of the April 6 Youth Movement staged a protest at dawn on Friday against what they describe as heavy-handed tactics employed by Egypt's interior ministry. They also demanded the release of fellow activists who were arrested during a recent attack by security forces on Tahrir Square.

Police forces fired teargas to disperse the crowd who were chanting against Egypt's interior minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, and his crackdown on protesters and political activists.

Dozens suffered from asphyxiation due to the dense volleys of teargas fired. The group claimed at least two of its members were injured by birdshot pellets.

Four were arrested after some protesters deployed derogatory chants against the ministry, describing it as a “prostitute” while holding aloft underwear.

In a statement issued early on Friday, the April 6 Youth Movement’s Democratic Front condemned the brutality and repressive measures used by the interior ministry.

"Such violence and abuse from police will never pass unnoticed," read the statement. "Any bloodshed [of our members] will lead to an outrage that neither the interior ministry nor the regime has seen before."

On Wednesday, 53 activists were arrested when security forces raided Tahrir Square and removed barriers erected by protesters which were obstructing traffic. Activists returned shortly afterwards and again closed the square off to traffic.

Anti-government activists have held an intermittent sit-in in Tahrir Square since 22 November, when President Mohamed Morsi issued a highly controversial presidential decree that temporarily shielded his decisions from judicial oversight.

This article was modified on Friday afternoon to clarify the translation of the word 'prostitute'. It was previously translated as 'bitch.'

High Court protest demands removal of prosecutor-general

Karim Hafez, Friday 29 Mar 2013

Hundreds gather at the High Court in Cairo to demand the immediate removal of disputed prosecutor-general Talaat Abdullah

Hundreds of protestors gathered at the High Court in Cairo on Friday to protest the ‘Brotherhoodisation’ of the judiciary and the summons of five opposition activists earlier this week.

Protestors chained the gates of the High Court in a symbolic move and held signs demanding the “arrest and summons of the prosecutor-general.”

In the late afternoon, the protesters marched to nearby Tahrir Square. There were minor scuffles with local vendors but no reported injuries, according to a ministry of health official.

Egypt’s prosecutor-general, Talaat Abdullah, issued arrest warrants earlier this week for five prominent activists, including Alaa Abd El-Fattah, Ahmed Doma and Ahmed Eid, over their alleged role in clashes that occurred in front of the Brotherhood headquarters that left almost 200 injured.

The National Salvation Front (NSF), Egypt’s leading opposition umbrella group, had called for peaceful protests on Friday to show solidarity with the political activists.

Protestors chanted against President Mohamed Morsi, the prosecutor-general and the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie, and some protesters went as far as calling upon the Egyptian army “to intervene.”

“We demand the immediate removal of the prosecutor-general and the respecting of the court verdict which overturned the dismissal of former prosecutor-general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud [dismissed by Morsi in November 2012]. We demand an impartial prosecution,” Mohamed Abd El-Ghafar, member of the Kefaya movement, told Ahram Online.

Small fights broke out during the protest because a group of protesters objected to chants that demanded the Egyptian army “assume responsibilities.”

“The only alternative to Morsi and his gang is another civilian president. We reject that any form of political responsibility be given to the Egyptian army, and people calling upon the army to intervene clearly lack political vision,” said Hussein Helmy, a member of the Youth for Justice and Freedom movement.

Pro-army chants like “the army and people are one hand” were heard during the protest.

“The army is our only protector. It is the only institution in Egypt right now that would be able to oppose President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood,” asserted Walaa Awni, an unaffiliated protestor at the High Court.

In November 2012, a few months after Egypt's People's Assembly, the lower house of parliament, was disbanded by a court ruling that judged elections to the body unconstitutional, Morsi issued a controversial constitutional declaration widening his powers and dismissing the country's prosecutor-general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud, replacing him with Talaat Abdullah.

Opposition groups criticised the move, arguing that under the Egyptian legal system, the prosecutor-general can only be dismissed by a judicial decree, not by the president. They argue that a new prosecutor-general needs to be appointed by judicial selection not by the president.

Police vehicles torched during anti-Morsi
rallies in Egypt's Mahalla

Ahram Online, Friday 29 Mar 2013

Muslim Brotherhood members in Mahalla protect their office in fear of any attack

Tens of protesters in Egypt’s industrial city of Mahalla torched a police vehicle on Friday, during demonstrations against president Mohamed Morsi.

The march was part of a nationwide call to protests the recent summoning of several activists by the prosecutor-general.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Mahalla for their part have formed human chain around the building where the headquarter is located in, for fear of any potential assaults.

Last Friday’s the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party office was attacked with Molotov cocktails that set the building alight.

No comments: