Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine separatist crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels call for Russian troops after deadly clash

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

Africa

Anti-Morsi protesters surround presidential palace

©

Video by Nicolas Germain

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-12-05

Protesters demonstrating against Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi remained camped outside Cairo's presidential palace on Wednesday morning after Tuesday saw tens of thousands of demonstrators besiege the palace and clash with riot police.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi returned to work on Wednesday morning at the presidential palace, an aide said, a day after thousands of protesters thronged the building to demand an end to his regime.

Police fired teargas at up to 10,000 demonstrators who descended on the palace on December 4 in what they called “last warning” protests against Morsi, who angered opponents with a November 22 decree that expanded his powers, placing him beyond the reach of the judiciary, and his support for a controversial draft constitution.

Some protesters broke through the police lines around his palace and took up posts near the perimeter wall.

Rival protests called at Egypt’s presidential palace

Egypt’s Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement called for a rally outside of the presidential palace on Wednesday in a show of support for President Mohammed Morsi. Meanwhile, a leftist opposition group appealed to anti-Morsi demonstrators to stage a rival protest the same day.

“The people want the downfall of the regime,” the demonstrators chanted.

Presidential sources said Morsi left the building when the number of protesters gathered outside began to swell. “The president has left the palace,” one source, who declined to be named, told Reuters. A security source at the presidency also said the president had departed.

Riot police at the palace faced off against activists chanting “Leave, leave” and holding Egyptian flags with “No to the constitution” written on them. At one point, people clambered onto an armoured police vehicle and waved flags, while riot police huddled nearby.

“Our marches are against tyranny and the void constitutional decree, and we won’t retract our position until our demands are met,” said Hussein Abdel Ghany, a spokesman for an opposition coalition of liberal, leftist and other factions.

Eighteen people were injured in the clashes near the palace, state news agencies reported, citing the Health Ministry.

'Under siege'

The protesters are intent on letting the president feel their presence, said FRANCE 24’s Cairo correspondent, Alex Turnbull. “The demonstrators pulled away the barricades that the security forces had put in place and it looks like the presidential palace is under siege," Turnbull said.

“There are demonstrators all around the building and they are trying all they can to make sure Morsi notices them," he said. "They were banging stones against posts and street lamps, and dozens were aiming laser lights through the palace windows.”

Report: Hard times in Alexandria

Earlier, protesters had taken to the streets waving Egyptian flags, denouncing the ruling Muslim Brotherhood party, from which Morsi emerged, for having "sold the revolution" that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak last year.

Morsi has called a December 15 referendum on the draft constitution, which is rejected by liberals, leftists and Christians, and which has sparked strikes and deadly protests since it was unveiled last week.

"I'm not going to vote. Morsi and the committee [drafting the constitution] are void," one protester told AFP.

The draft charter has become the focal point of a political and ideological battle in Egypt between the ruling Islamists and the largely secular-leaning opposition.

"Egypt is a country where all religions should live together. I love God's law and Sharia (Islamic law), but I will vote against the constitution because it has split the people," said Bassam Ali Mohammed, a professor of Islamic law, as he neared the presidential palace.

Morsi has not only placed his decisions beyond judicial oversight but also barred any judicial body from dissolving the Islamist-dominated panel that drafted and approved the new constitution, sparking a high-profile conflict with the country's judges.

Media strike

Security measures were tightened around the capital on Tuesday, with some schools and businesses closed, and independent and opposition newspapers refusing to publish their Tuesday editions to protest against the lack of press freedoms in the draft constitution.

The strike was designed to "stand up to tyranny", independent daily Al-Tahrir said on its website.

"The Egyptian Independent objects to continued restrictions on media liberties, especially after hundreds of Egyptians gave their lives for freedom," read a message on the newspaper's website, its only viewable content on Tuesday.

As he faces his worst crisis since taking office in June, Morsi insists the measures are aimed at ending a tumultuous transition following the popular uprising that toppled Mubarak in early 2011.

But his opponents have accused him of choosing the same path of autocracy that finally cost Mubarak his presidency.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)
 

Date created : 2012-12-04

  • EGYPT

    Egypt’s judiciary to oversee constitutional referendum

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Morsi calls referendum on disputed constitution

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Pro-Morsi protesters stage counter rally in Cairo

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)