Egypt protesters tear-gassed

2012-11-24 16:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Anti-riot police fired tear gas on Saturday to disperse protesters camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square as Western governments voiced growing concern over Islamist President Mohamed Morsi's assumption of sweeping powers.

A hard core of opposition activists had spent the night in the iconic protest hub - epicentre of the popular uprising that toppled veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak last year - erecting some 30 tents, an AFP correspondent reported.

But when more demonstrators attempted to join them in the morning, police responded with volleys of tear gas forcing them to retreat into surrounding streets.

By midday, small groups of protesters continued to occupy the square, where traffic in the normally busy thoroughfare was almost brought to a halt.

Opposition-led protests were held in most of Egypt's major cities on Friday sparking violent clashes in the canal city of Suez and the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, where offices of the Islamist Freedom and Justice Party, which backed Morsi for the presidency, were torched.

The mainly secular liberal activists voiced determination to keep up the momentum of their protests against Morsi's decree on Thursday which placed his decisions beyond judicial scrutiny, vastly adding to his power.

New revolution

They called a new mass protest in Tahrir for Tuesday.

"Egypt is at the start of a new revolution because it was never our intention to replace one dictator with another," activist Mohammed al-Gamal told AFP, showing his broken spectacles and hand in a plaster cast than he said were the result of the police action.

Washington, which only on Wednesday had voiced fulsome praise for Morsi's role in brokering a truce between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers to end eight days of deadly violence, led international criticism of the Islamist president's move.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups were also out in strength on Friday in a show of support for the president in his move to prevent the courts dissolving the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly and upper house of parliament as they have already the lower house.

Clashes broke out between the rival supporters in several cities, AFP correspondents and state television reported.

In an address to supporters outside the presidential palace, Morsi insisted that Egypt remained on the path to "freedom and democracy", despite his move to undercut the judiciary.

"Political stability, social stability and economic stability are what I want and that is what I am working for," he said.

The president already held both and executive and legislative powers and Thursday's decree puts him beyond judicial oversight until a new constitution has been ratified in a referendum.

It also means that the Islamist-dominated panel drawing up the new charter can no longer be touched and gives it a two-month extension - until February next year - to complete its work.

International concern

Washington and European governments voiced concern about the concentration of power in Morsi's hands and its implications for the democratic gains of last year's uprising which toppled Mubarak.

"The decisions and declarations announced on November 22 raise concerns for many Egyptians and for the international community," said US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland.

"One of the aspirations of the revolution was to ensure that power would not be overly concentrated in the hands of any one person or institution."

The European Union urged the Egyptian president to respect the democratic process.

"It is of utmost importance that democratic process be completed in accordance with the commitments undertaken by the Egyptian leadership," a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.

But a spokesman for the Freedom and Justice Party, headed by Morsi before his election, said the president's decree was necessary to cut short the turbulent transition.

"We need stability," said Murad Ali. "That's not going to happen if we go back again to allowing the judges, who have personal reasons, to dissolve the constituent assembly in order to prolong the transitional phase."

Read more on:    hosni mubarak  |  mohamed morsi  |  egypt  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.