Egypt crisis: Morsi supporters gather for protests


Mr Mansour praised the armed forces and the Egyptian people

Supporters of Egypt's ousted president are gathering for protests in the capital to demand his reinstatement.

The army, which removed Mr Morsi and detained him in response to widespread unrest, has said it will allowed peaceful protests.

Adly Mahmud Mansour, the top judge of the constitutional court, is now Egypt's interim leader and has promised that elections will take place soon.

The African Union has announced it will suspend Egypt from all activities.

Admore Kambudzi, secretary of the body's Peace and Security Council, said the move was being taken in line with AU policy "until the restoration of constitutional order".

Start Quote

A couple of months ago, people were sceptical of the army. However, we have now seen our faith restored ”

End Quote Reem Shalan Cairo

The removal of Mr Morsi by the army followed days of mass protests, largely organised by the Tamarod [Rebel] movement.

The protesters accused Mr Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood - the Islamist group of which he is a member - of pursuing an Islamist agenda against the wishes of the majority, and of failing to tackle economic problems.

Mr Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected leader, is in detention, as are senior figures in the Brotherhood. Arrests warrants have been issued for some 300 others.

Mohamed ElBaradei: "We were between a rock and a hard place"

The army command has said it will not take "arbitrary measures against any faction or political current" and would guarantee the right to protest, as long as demonstrations did not threaten national security.

"Peaceful protest and freedom of expression are rights guaranteed to everyone, which Egyptians have earned as one of the most important gains of their glorious revolution," it said.

But Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al-Haddad said the movement was refusing to co-operate with the new leadership and demanded the immediate release of those detained.

At his news conference on Thursday, he said the Brotherhood would take part in "peaceful, people-led protest".

Mohamed Soudan, foreign relations secretary for the Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said the army action and the arrests were moving Egypt "back to the dictatorship regime".

Army's post-Morsi roadmap

Morsi supporters in Cairo (5 July 2013)
  • Constitution to be suspended temporarily and interim president sworn in
  • "Strong and competent" civilian technocratic government to be installed
  • Supreme Court to pass a draft law on parliamentary election and prepare for parliamentary and presidential polls
  • "Charter of honour" to be drawn up and followed by the media
  • Measures taken to empower young people and a national reconciliation committee to be formed

Thousands of Brotherhood supporters have been camped outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, vowing to stage a "Day of Rejection".

"We came from all of Egypt for one goal only, to return the democratically elected president to the palace," said one man.

The BBC's Rana Jawad in Cairo says some have been calling for the execution of Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief who announced the ousting of Mr Morsi.

Tanks and military personnel have been deployed to potential flashpoints in the capital and the mood is tense, says our correspondent.

On Friday, troops were deployed in Mr Morsi's hometown of Zagazig, in Shariqiya province, after rival protesters clashed. The health ministry said 80 people had been injured.

Some 50 people have died since the latest unrest began on Sunday.

Mohamed ElBaradei - a leading opposition figure who backed the overthrow of Mr Morsi - said the army's intervention had been "painful" but was on behalf of the people and ultimately averted civil war.

"Mr Morsi unfortunately undermined his own legitimacy," he told the BBC.

He said elections would be held within a year at the most as the army had no intention of ruling.

He had urged the military to treat Mr Morsi with "full dignity as a former president", he said, and hoped detained Muslim Brotherhood members would be released.

Egypt's revolution - key events

  • 11 February 2011 - Hosni Mubarak resigns as president after two weeks of massive street protests and violent clashes
  • January 2012 - Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party wins parliamentary elections with almost half of the vote
  • June 2012 - Mohammed Morsi becomes Egypt's first freely elected president
  • 22 November 2012 - Mr Morsi issues a controversial decree granting himself extensive powers - after angry protests, he eventually rescinds most of it
  • 3 July 2013 - The army suspends the constitution and removes Mr Morsi from power

Mr Mansour was sworn in as interim head of state on Thursday, vowing to safeguard "the spirit of the revolution" which had removed Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011.

He has invited the Brotherhood "to participate in building the nation".

The army's roadmap for the post-Morsi era includes:

  • Suspension of the constitution
  • A civilian, transitional technocratic government
  • Supreme constitutional court to prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections
  • A "charter of honour" to be drawn up and followed by national media

Early on Friday, one soldier was reported killed after Islamist militants attacked military and police checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula with rockets and mortar fire.

Security checkpoints at al-Arish airport, near the border with Israel and the Gaza Strip, and a police station in Rafah were targeted, officials said.

Sinai has seen a series of militant attacks on security installations and oil pipelines over the past two years, and it is unclear whether the latest attacks are linked to the political upheaval.

Bowen: Egypt's failed democratic experiment

Gardner: Dangerous moment for the Middle East

Optimism for Egypt economy

Key players in the Egyptian crisis


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  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    @Thurston Moore

    Yes, I don't like the coalition government but at least they haven't swept away the other parties. Morsi attempted to do this and was ousted. And rightly so. Theres no point shouting 'free and fair election' when in the end, there is no competition.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    Well done Egypt you came so close to losing it all under the shadow of Islam. Why go back to the stone age when you had achieved so much, religion and the state should never ever mix.
    Good luck.

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    If the 'Christian' brotherhood had won an election in Egypt -on a 'Christian' mandate and a year later was overthrown in a military coup -by now severe sanctions and possible military intervention would be being suggested by western nations! The opposite response shows western double standards and religious bigotry! What happened in Egypt was wrong/illegal! Those who 'support' it are even worse!

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    This is a dangerous precedent: A government and Constitution that only exist at the leisure of the, albeit currently benign, armed forces is not a country by rule of law.

    The best thing would be to include in their Constitution a "Recall Amendment". The right to recall governments is as fundamental as jury nullification. When the governed withdraw their consent, the governor must abide.

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    Looks like things might heat up.

    Morsi supporters attack soldiers

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    The Army may be the only realistic mechanism by which Egyptians can shake off would-be despots, but let's not forget that it's a relic from the pre-Revolutionary Egypt.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    I am amazed at the lack of political sophistication being shown by the people of Egypt. Democracy means being governed by people you dont agree with a lot of the time and tolerating it. The urban middle classes have to accept that the majority of of citizens voted for TMB and they will win another election again (unless the army ban them) and if they ban them they will continue to exist.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood (no sisterhood) HI-JACKED the first democratic election in over 50 years in order to force Egypt to follow a dysfunctional version of Islam that even many Muslims don't want.

    It was right for the people and the army to stop their grotesque plan for religious domination.

    The attitude of the Brotherhood is the reason for most of the unrest in the world today.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    Why are no comments allowed on the "Bolivia 'could close' US embassy after plane incident" article?


  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    We should only provide domestic aid/trade & not weapons, there should also be some form of assistance in getting their economy back up & running, tourism was their biggest industry but its dwindled since the Islamic brotherhood came to power, poverty breeds revolution so the sooner they start getting tourists back the better.

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    When an elected representative in a democracy chooses to abuse his position to impose a dictatorial regime then the people have a duty to oust that representative. Adof Hitler similarly used the democratic system to impose his dictatorship.
    I applaud the courage of the Egyptians. The Muslim Brotherhood should accept that it has misbehaved, appologise and re-enter the electoral process.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    The Spanish Transition to Democracy between 1975-1983 provides an invaluable paradigm to all countries metamorphosising from autocracy to pluralistic democracy. All liberty-loving and rational Egyptians must surely look to Spain's example for inspiration.

    There will be no viable democracy in Egypt for as long as the Army retains the role of king-maker.

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    The Egyptians seem to be emotional people and do not understand where Egypt is heading to. The worst democracy is better than the best dictatorship including army coups. We in the West should learn that a spade is called a spade and any army coup should be called “an army coup”. The peace or no-peace in Egypt will greatly affect all of us and the whole Middle East.

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    BBC has reported the demise of the Morsi administration, which attached opposition, rather than starting dialogue that would include groups. Further, BBC has reported the reaction to the attack on democracy of the Morsi administration, well done. It is amazing how conservative groups want to gain a position of political power through voting, only to prevent that voting once in power.

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    You cannot run a country on Islam. It is incompatible with democracy, business, freedoms & justice.

    Assad, Saddam & Mubarak had the right idea. Uphold a secular state. The problem was they forgot about the democracy part or the not slaughtering your own people bit.

    Also, Egypt needs to rid itself of the remnants of Marxism in its institutions if it wants to reignite its economy and business.

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    First past the post isn't a democratic system. People in a democratic country have the right to direct democracy through legally binding referendums. Clearly Britain isn't democratic and the people should be following the lead of the Egyptians. Cameron and Clegg promised a vote on the EU, which they have both gone back on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    I am ashamed of the biased reporting by the BBC.

    The curse of neutrality is that everyone ends up convinced that it is biased - and baised both ways. I found the coverage leant the other way with endless reminders of Morsi's democratic "legitimacy", ignoring the fact that an election in and of itself does not constitute a democracy. None of this means they have an agenda.

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    Although I don't condone violence I am glad people are standing up to their governments. If only there was some similar, but non violent, action we could take here.

    If governments always feared being ousted in such fashion they may actually do some things that help the people instead of lining their own pockets.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    Good on the army, not only have they shown that Religion is not in their agenda they have been restrained in the treatment of its people. To all those Muslims who want thriving economies and freedom, leave your faith at the door and dont confuse faith with advancement.

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    Nothing to do with us. We should let them get on with it and do whatever they think it right.

    Our politicians are so hypocritical it's almost beyond belief. Hague berated the Egyptian army for removing a president in their own country yet seems to think it's fine for us to send our troops in to another country (usually at the behest of the Americans) to remove a leader whenever we feel like it.


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