Friday, March 28, 2014

Egypt: Update--Morsi Supporters Protest Against Field Marshal el-Sissi Running for President

According to The Associated Press, hundreds of supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi took to the streets on Friday (March 28) to protest the decision by the country's former Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to run for President in the upcoming April 2014 election, sparking scattered clashes that claimed the lives of a journalist and two other people.

The former Field Marshal led the ouster of Morsi in July 2013 after millions joined demonstrations demanding he step down. El-Sissi resigned from the military on Wednesday (March 26), the same day he made his much-anticipated announcement launching his presidential campaign. He is expected to win.

Friday's rallies took place in several cities, including areas in and around the capital of Cairo and in the northern city of Alexandria. 

Demonstrators attempted to block a main road with burning tires in Cairo that leads to the famed Giza pyramids, but security officials said they were able to bring the situation under control.

COMMENT: In the eastern Cairo district of Ain Shams, security forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters. Three people were killed, including a female journalist named Mayada Ashraf who died while covering the clashes.

A protester, 39, named who was at the site of the clashes said that Ashraf was steps away from him which she was shot in the head by security forces using live ammunition. 

Ashraf worked for the privately owned daily EL-DUSTOR. It reported online that it had urged authorities to halt gunfire in the area to give ambulances an opportunity to retrieve the body of the slain journalist.

Authorities arrested 38 supporters of the former Muslim Brotherhood president at protests in the cities of Giza, Mansoura and Minya, according to a security official. The officials said students from the Islamic University of Al-Azhar threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at security forces.