World Bulletin/News Desk
Scores of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and independent activists on Saturday staged a protest in Cairo against the detention of political opponents and journalists, describing the arrests as a setback to Egypt's 2011 revolution, which ended the autocracy of former president Hosni Mubarak.
"The authorities arrest everybody who opposes the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and journalists in particular in order not to tell the public the truth about what happens in this country," Ahmed Gouda, a 27-year-old pharmacist who joined the protest outside the press syndicate, told Anadolu Agency.
Morsi, Egypt's first elected civilian president, was removed from power by the army on July 3 following mass protests against his policies. His supporters have been staging protests and marches against his ouster.
The demonstration was originally set to be staged outside the Court of Cassation in central Cairo, but organizers had to change the venue to the press syndicate after scores of supporters of the military showed up at the same place and seemed ready for a fight.
"We had to change the location of the protest for fear of the other camp picking a fight with us," Gouda said.
Outside the press syndicate, the demonstrators chanted slogans against the detention of political opponents and the journalists.
They also carried banners critical of army chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the chief architect of Morsi's overthrow.
"Down with the rule of the military," demonstrators chanted.
A number of journalists were detained over the past four months either for spreading false news about the army or snapping military sites on camera without taking necessary permissions.
Demonstrators described the detention of journalists as a setback for the January 25 revolution, which has championed calls for freedom and social justice.
Saturday's protest came in response to a call by the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, Morsi's main support bloc, in protest at the detention of women and political opponents.
Support for Sisi
Outside the Cassation Court, also the location of the office of Egypt's Prosecutor-General, scores of pro-military supporters chanted slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement from which Morsi hails, and in support of the army.
The demonstrators held photos of al-Sisi, who is also Egypt's Defense Minister, and banners on which support statements for the army were written.
"Sisi is a great man," said Sayed Abouda, one of the demonstrators who raised Sisi's photo high.
"We have tried the Brotherhood for a whole year and they turned out to be unfit for the job of managing Egypt's affairs," he told AA.
A few meters away from him, policemen and army personnel tightened their control over the vicinity of the Cassation Court, a usual site for the protests of the Brotherhood and other Egyptians.
The policemen cordoned off the entrance to the court, while army armored vehicles took their positions in front of the building to prevent potential attempts for breaking into it. The soldiers on top of the armored vehicle seemed to be on highest alert.Last Mod: 09 Kasım 2013, 15:29