Tear-gas in Tahrir

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.

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.

“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. READ MORE…

Reuters informs of the ways in which the current protests expose deep divisions within Egyptian society. Read the article here.

Think Africa Press analyses the sweeping powers Mursi gave himself without granting the possibility for appeal, in “President Mursi: A Pharoah in Revolutionary Clothing?

image credit: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/REUTERS

 

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