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

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid