Morsi Loyalists Hold Modest Protest in Giza

Supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi have organised a march Friday morning in Giza’s Mohandiseen district.

Protesters, whose numbers usually increase following Friday afternoon prayers, chanted against the police and the army while making the four-fingered Rabaa salute, a symbol of the bloody dispersal of a pro-Morsi protest in Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya in August.

Morsi supporters have been holding almost daily protests since his ouster in July. The numbers of protesters have drastically decreased amid a major security crackdown on members, leaders and sympathisers of the Islamist group.

There was a significant presence of security forces at several key locations in Cairo and Giza on Friday, the day of the week when protests typically take place.

According to Al-Ahram Arabic news website, police have also deployed more troops in the vicinity of vital institutes, police stations, embassies, banks and churches located in both governorates.

Security forces have also fortified their presence in the main squares of the Suez governorate, according to state-owned news agency MENA.

A security source told MENA that there are strict orders banning any protest or march in the canal city on Friday, after members of the Muslim Brotherhood allegedly assaulted security forces in the iconic Al-Arbeen square on Thursday.

Thursday saw violent clashes in Suez between pro-Morsi protesters, police and army personnel. The front gate of the city’s fire station was destroyed during the violence.

Egyptian authorities declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation in December, accusing the group of links with recent attacks on state institutions and on churches since Morsi’s ouster.

Ministry of Interior officials have warned that anyone taking part in pro-Brotherhood protests after its designation as a terrorist organisation will be punished with five years in jail, while protest leaders might face the death penalty.

The Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy has vowed to step up their protests ahead of the constitution referendum on 14 and 15 January, which will mark a turning point in the transitional roadmap set forth by interim authorities after the removal of the Islamist president. The Islamist group have said they will boycott the poll.

Source: Al-Ahram Online

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