News / Middle East

Egyptian Riot Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters

Egyptian protesters stand in front of barbed wire beyond the presidential palace in Cairo, December 4, 2012.
Egyptian protesters stand in front of barbed wire beyond the presidential palace in Cairo, December 4, 2012.
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VOA News
Egyptian riot police Tuesday fired tear gas outside the presidential palace as tens of thousands of protesters marched against President Mohamed Morsi.

Police tried to stop the crowd from storming the palace where Morsi was inside conducting business. The police soon retreated and let the marchers through a barrier and up to the palace walls. Egyptian officials say Morsi had left the palace during the march.

Egypt's Draft Constitution

  • Limits president to two four-year terms
  • Provides protections against arbitrary detention and torture
  • Islamic law, or Sharia, serves as the basis for legislation
  • Religious freedom is limited to Muslims, Christians and Jews
  • Citizens are deemed equal before the law and equal in rights
Many of the marchers chanted the same anti-government slogans used in the uprising that toppled former authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak.

Protest leaders called Tuesday's march a last warning to Morsi to back down from his decree giving himself nearly unlimited powers and placing himself above the judiciary. They also are marching against a draft constitution that the opposition says was drawn up by Islamists, without input from secularists and liberals.

A referendum on the constitution is set for December 15.

Also Tuesday, 11 Egyptian newspapers suspended publication to protest the draft constitution. Journalists say it puts restrictions on free speech.
  • Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans during a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
  • A supporter of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi chants slogans during clashes with opponents, not pictured, outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
  • Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s supporters beat an opponent, center, during clashes outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
  • Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s supporters clash with opponents, not pictured, outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
  • Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
  • An Egyptian protester with Arabic writing on his forehead that reads, "Muslims and Christians, one hand," attends a demonstration outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 5, 2012.
  • A young boy waves a national flag from his mother's shoulders as protesters chant slogans in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
  • Anti-Morsi protesters run from smoke from a tear gas canister thrown by riot police, during clashes in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
  • Protesters chant slogans and wave national flags in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
  • People walk between tents belonging to anti-Morsi protesters, in Tahrir square, Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
  • Protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a rally in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
  • Protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a rally in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.
  • Riot police stand guard behind barbed wire while protesters chant anti Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt, December 4, 2012.

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