News / Middle East

5 Killed in Cairo on Anniversary of Morsi Ouster

Pro-Morsi protesters run from tear gas during clashes with police in Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2014.
Pro-Morsi protesters run from tear gas during clashes with police in Cairo, Egypt, July 3, 2014.
Reuters

Five men died in Cairo in separate incidents involving a bomb blast and protester clashes with security forces on Thursday, the first anniversary of the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, security sources said.

Thousands of Egyptians opposed to the army's ouster of Morsi last year joined rare protests in cities and towns around the country, witnesses said. Previous protests had much lower turnout after a new law required official approval.

Security was tight in Cairo as armored personnel carriers blocked off the city's central Tahrir Square to head off any possible protests there.

Since Morsi's ouster, his Muslim Brotherhood group was labeled a terrorist organization and thousands of Islamists have been jailed on accusations of terrorism and violence while militant Islamists have stepped up attacks on security forces.

"On July 3, Egyptians will revolt, marking the beginning of the end of the coup, marching from all towns and cities across Egypt to liberty squares in all provinces," an alliance of Morsi's supporters said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Three of Thursday's victims died in clashes that broke out in Cairo between protesters and security forces, security sources said. Unrest was reported both from the upscale district of Mohandiseen and poor areas such as Haram and Materiya.

Earlier in the day, two men were killed in a bomb blast in a flat in Kerdasa, a western district of the capital where around 10 policemen were killed in an Islamist mob attack last summer. Security sources said they believed one of the victims was involved in that police killing.

Series of bombs

Another explosive device detonated on Thursday in a car in the northeastern district of Abbassiya and three home-made bombs went off near police cars in the central district of Imbaba without causing injuries, the sources added.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the blasts. Cairo has been hit by a spate of small explosions in recent days and two police officers were killed on Monday trying to defuse bombs planted near the presidential palace.

Last week, a series of makeshift bombs exploded at Cairo metro stations, the first in the capital since Sisi was sworn in as president.

Following Morsi's overthrow last July, security services launched a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood politicians, activists and street protesters, jailing thousands and killing hundreds in clashes and raids.

Since then, some radical Islamist groups have repeatedly targeted police and soldiers in the capital and elsewhere, mostly by planting makeshift bombs.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt has declared a terrorist organization, denies any link to the violence.

The authorities' security dragnet has expanded over the past year to include secular and liberal activists, including many who played leading roles in a 2011 popular revolt that ousted veteran leader Hosni Mubarak after 30 years in power.

A law passed after Morsi's fall has sharply restricted the right to protest. Last month, around 23 activists were arrested  over a rally in Cairo against the new law.

Rights concerns

Western governments and rights groups have voiced concern for freedom of expression in Egypt and the security clamp-down has dimmed hopes for democratic evolution in Egypt that had soared after the anti-Mubarak uprising three years ago.

Amnesty International condemned Egypt's human rights record in a statement on Thursday, saying torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions had increased since Morsi's political demise.

"Egypt's notorious state security forces - currently known as National Security - are back and operating at full capacity, employing the same methods of torture and other ill-treatment used during the darkest hours of the Mubarak era," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa program.

The government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the army ouster of Morsi, says it is committed to a democratic transition and the rule of law following the 2011 uprising.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs