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One person dies, hundreds injured in anti-Morsi demonstration

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 28th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

One person died after inhaling tear gas and suffering a heart attack -- and hundreds were injured in a massive protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo against President Mohamed Morsi. The freshly elected Morsi signed a decree granting him sweeping powers last week, leading 200,000 to mass into Tahrir Square to say that his Muslim Brotherhood party had effectively hijacked the revolution of last year's Arab Spring.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The people want the regime to fall," the crowds chanted. In addition, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria protesters attacked the local office of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood tried to hold a counter-demonstration in Cairo in support of the president. The event was cancelled to "avoid potential unrest," but that has done little to heal the division among supporters and foes of Morsi.

"The Muslim Brotherhood stole the revolution" read one banner in Tahrir Square.

Another said the president was "pushing the people to civil disobedience."

"The Muslim Brotherhood are liars," read another.

Morsi had met the day before with the country's senior judges in a bid to defuse the crisis over the decree, which has sparked deadly clashes, which prompted Egyptian judges and journalists to call for strike.

Morsi met with the nation's top judges earlier this week and tried to win their acceptance of his decrees. The move was dismissed by many in the opposition and the judiciary as providing no real concessions.

Presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali says that Morsi told the judges that he acted within his rights as the nation's sole source of legislation. He reportedly assured the judges that the decrees were temporary and did not in any way infringe on the judiciary.

He underlined repeatedly that the president had no plans to change or amend his decrees.

According to a presidential statement late on Monday, Morsi told the judges that his decree meant that any decisions he makes on "issues of sovereignty" are immune from judicial review.

The ambiguous statement did not define those issues, but they were widely interpreted to cover declaration of war, imposition of martial law, breaking diplomatic relations with a foreign nation or dismissing a cabinet.

Morsi's original edict explicitly gave him immunity to all his decisions and there was no sign it had been changed.


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