News / Middle East

Egyptian Police Fire Teargas at Student Protesters

Egyptian students of al-Azhar University block the access to an administration building during an anti-army protest on October 30, 2013 at the university in Cairo.Egyptian students of al-Azhar University block the access to an administration building during an anti-army protest on October 30, 2013 at the university in Cairo.
x
Egyptian students of al-Azhar University block the access to an administration building during an anti-army protest on October 30, 2013 at the university in Cairo.
Egyptian students of al-Azhar University block the access to an administration building during an anti-army protest on October 30, 2013 at the university in Cairo.
Reuters
Egyptian police fired teargas at protesting students at Cairo's al-Azhar university on Wednesday hours after authorities announced the detention of Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam El-Erian, part of a crackdown against the Islamist movement.
 
Students at the country's top institution for Islamic teachings have been demonstrating for weeks in support of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, whom the army toppled in July after mass protests against his rule.
 
The head of al-Azhar university had called on the police to enter campus grounds to “protect souls and properties”, according to an interior ministry statement.
 
Student supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi carry a comrade injured during clashes with Egyptian security forces outside Al-Azhar university in Cairo on October 28, 2013.Student supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi carry a comrade injured during clashes with Egyptian security forces outside Al-Azhar university in Cairo on October 28, 2013.
x
Student supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi carry a comrade injured during clashes with Egyptian security forces outside Al-Azhar university in Cairo on October 28, 2013.
Student supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi carry a comrade injured during clashes with Egyptian security forces outside Al-Azhar university in Cairo on October 28, 2013.
Demonstrations at Al-Azhar are a sensitive matter because the institution has historically toed the government line.
 
Erian, the deputy leader of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party, was taken into custody early on Wednesday from a residence in New Cairo where he had been in hiding.
 
“He's been arrested and details will soon be released,” an Interior Ministry source told Reuters.
 
Local media circulated a photo of what they described as the moment he was arrested, showing a smiling Erian standing next to a bed with two packed duffle bags.
 
Senior members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Morsi, right, and Essam el-Erian hold a press conference on the latest situation in Egypt in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/ Mohammed Abou Zaid)Senior members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Morsi, right, and Essam el-Erian hold a press conference on the latest situation in Egypt in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/ Mohammed Abou Zaid)
x
Senior members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Morsi, right, and Essam el-Erian hold a press conference on the latest situation in Egypt in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/ Mohammed Abou Zaid)
Senior members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Morsi, right, and Essam el-Erian hold a press conference on the latest situation in Egypt in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/ Mohammed Abou Zaid)
Many Brotherhood leaders have been detained since the army deposed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, and declared a road map leading to elections.
 
Morsi, Erian and 12 other Brotherhood leaders are expected to go on trial on Monday on charges of inciting violence.
 
The charges relate to the deaths of about a dozen people in clashes outside the presidential palace last December after Morsi enraged protesters with a decree expanding his powers.
 
The trial of three senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders on charges of inciting violence was halted on Tuesday after the judge withdrew from the case for unexplained reasons.
 
The trials are likely to create more political upheaval in Egypt, which has a peace treaty with Israel and controls the Suez Canal, a vital global trade route.
 
The Brotherhood, which demands Morsi's reinstatement, accuses the army of staging a coup that sabotaged democratic gains made since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
 
A man looks at bodies laid out in a make shift morgue after Egyptian security forces stormed two huge protest camps at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were camped, in Cairo, on August 14, 2013.A man looks at bodies laid out in a make shift morgue after Egyptian security forces stormed two huge protest camps at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were camped, in Cairo, on August 14, 2013.
x
A man looks at bodies laid out in a make shift morgue after Egyptian security forces stormed two huge protest camps at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were camped, in Cairo, on August 14, 2013.
A man looks at bodies laid out in a make shift morgue after Egyptian security forces stormed two huge protest camps at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were camped, in Cairo, on August 14, 2013.
At least 1,000 people, including members of the security forces, were killed in the violence that followed Morsi's overthrow. Hundreds of Morsi supporters were killed when police forces stormed two protest camps on Aug. 14.
 
An Egyptian court in September banned the Muslim Brotherhood group and seized their funds to try to crush the movement, which the government accuses of inciting violence and terrorism.
 
The Brotherhood's discipline and hierarchy helped it win elections after the revolt that toppled Mubarak, eventually propelling Morsi into power.
 
Now the army-led government and its supporters regard the Brotherhood as a terrorist group and enemy of the state. The security forces and police, feared and despised under Mubarak, are lauded for cracking down on the organization.
 
The Brotherhood says it is committed to peaceful protest. But as members go into hiding, its key building blocks - local groups of seven members known as usras - are under pressure.
 
Critics of the government say it is becoming more authoritarian, stifling dissent and limiting freedom of speech.
 
Human rights groups and some liberal politicians have expressed alarm over a draft law under debate that would place severe restrictions on protests.
 
New York-based Human Rights Watch said the law would give police carte blanche to ban protests in Egypt.
 
“This draft law would effectively mandate the police to ban all protests outright and to use force to disperse ongoing protests,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
 
“The final law will be an important indicator of the extent to which the new government is going to allow for political space in Egypt.”

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid