Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more



Egypt Live Coverage: Protesters Fill Tahrir Square Again 

Police fire tear gas at protesters near Tahrir Square in Cairo this morning

1650 GMT: Officials said the Delta city of Mahalla calmed today after five hours of clashes on Wednesday between supporters and opponents of President Morsi's decrees.

According to health officials, 129 people were injured, 67 of whom suffered birdshot wounds.

Police finally separated the rival groups, standing between protesters and the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party.

1530 GMT: The head of the Constituent Assembly, Hossam el-Gheriyani, has said the final draft of a Constitution will be finished on Wednesday, and three other members said the document will be put to a vote on Thursday.

1420 GMT: The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties are now saying they will hold protests across Egypt on Saturday in support of President Morsi.

Mahmoud Ghozlan, the Brotherhood's spokesman, said, "We have called for pro-Mursi nationwide protests. The exact locations of the protests are currently being discussed."

Salah Abdel Maboud, a leading member of the Salafi Nour Party, confirmed that Islamists would stage protests on Saturday, including a possible gathering in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

1355 GMT: The Court of Cassation has announced that it will strike until President Morsi's rescinds the decrees that expand his powers and give him immunity from judicial review.

Earlier the Supreme Constitutional Court accused Morsi of an unjustified attack on its independence. "There was an attack against the court, false information was circulated about it... .But the real sadness for its judges was that the president of the republic joined in the attack against the constitutional court," the Court's head Maher al-Beheiry told reporters.

1245 GMT: Seven Coptic Christians have been sentenced to death in absentia for participating in the "Innocence of Muslims" video, which sparked protests in September over its denigration of the Prophet Muhammad.

"The seven accused persons were convicted of insulting the Islamic religion through participating in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet," Judge Saif al-Nasr Soliman said.

1055 GMT: The Supreme Constitutional Court has lashed out at President Morsi in a press conference, "Court was deeply saddened when President Morsi joined misguided attacks on us. We will not be terrorised by any political pressure. We are ready to face all pressures."

1010 GMT: Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam El Erian has put out a re-assurance that the President's expansion of his powers is temporary: "Within almost twelve weeks, Egypt’s new Constitution will replace all preceding charters and decrees, including President Morsi’s latest Constitutional Declaration."

0940 GMT: Analyst Nathan Brown offers his summary of the poltical and legal conflict:

The presidency and the judiciary are locked in confrontation, each holding a cartoonish image of its adversary.

The president was reacting to real problems when he immunized his decisions and the Constituent Assembly from judicial oversight. The Brotherhood had been heavy-handed in picking the Constituent Assembly, but it did so fully within the rules drafted last year.

And it is not clear that the opposition would have been satisfied with any compromise over the composition of the body or its work. The Brotherhood’s complaint --- that many critics were averse to allowing election results to have any impact on the document or its authors --- is firmly grounded.

The judiciary was an obvious place for the opposition to resort, since earlier court decisions had dissolved Parliament and the first Constituent Assembly. The matter is now before the Supreme Constitutional Court, and the part some justices played in the Presidential Elections Commission, advising the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and participating in public debates has left a strong residue of mistrust in Brotherhood circles.

Despite his suspicions, the president would likely not see himself as an adversary of judicial independence in principle --- after all, prominent members of the “independence” trend within the judiciary now occupy the vice presidency, the Justice Ministry and the chairmanship of the Constituent Assembly. But his language defending his declaration was intemperate, and many Freedom and Justice Party leaders have failed to hold their tongues in their description of the SCC in particular.

0800 GMT: Police have fired tear gas near the US Embassy and Tahrir Square, in the ninth day of clashes with protesters.

The fighting started before last Thursday's Presidential decrees that have stirred further protest, with several hundred protesters spending the night in Tahrir in tents. One man was killed on Tuesday by tear gas inhalation.

0700 GMT: Many tens of thousands of people --- Al Jazeera English estimates 200,000 --- filled Cairo's Tahrir Square on Tuesday in the largest protest since President Morsi's issued decrees last Thursday expanding his powers.

The crowds chanted, "The people want the regime to fall", in what was a largely peaceful demonstration. Nearby, however, clashes between police and demonstrators --- sparked nine days ago as protesters marked the one-year anniversary of the killing of 45 people by security forces --- took the live of another man, who died of tear gas inhalation.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood called for shows of support for the President, while postponing a Cairo demonstration to Friday to avoid clashes with opponents. However, the headlines outside the capital continued to be seized by the anti-Morsi displays: in Alexandria protesters attacked the local office of the Muslim Brotherhood, and in Mahalla, north of Cairo, the opposition staged a large rally.

With no indications that Morsi is going to backtrack, despite conciliatory noises after Monday's meeting with the judiciary, the prospect is for continued protest and political tension.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« The Latest from Iran (28 November): Supreme Leader Declares, "We're Winning" | Main | Egypt, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Will Morsi Give Back His New Powers? »

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>