Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shouts slogans at the Raba El-Adwyia mosque square in Cairo (Photo: Bassem Abo Alabass)
Thousands of supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi have started gathering in several governorates in response to a call by the alliance of Islamist parties and movements, including Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, for peaceful protests on Friday to denounce the military’s ousting of the Islamist president.
Thousands of Morsi supporters have reportedly taken part in marches in the northern governorates of Alexandria and Damanhour and the Upper Egyptian city of Minya following Friday afternoon prayers.
In Cairo, thousands have participated in demonstrations in Giza at Cairo University and in front of Istiqama Mosque in nearby Giza Square to protest Morsi's removal. In addition, another pro-Morsi march of thousands marched through Abbasiya in central Cairo, reported Ahram Online's Mary Mourad, chanting in favour of an Islamic state.
Thousands of Morsi supporters also gathered in the Cairo district of Heliopolis, not far from the Ittihadiya presidential palace, outside the recreation club of the officers of the Republican Guards.
In the northern Cairo district of Nasr City, thousands of Morsi supporters remain at a sit-in, which was begun on 28 June, in Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square. The military has been deployed in the area.
Morsi, who took office last June after winning Egypt's first post-Mubarak democratic elections, was forced out of office on Wednesday by armed forces chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, in response to four days of nationwide mass protests against his government.
The pro-Morsi National Coalition to Support Legitimacy had called for “peaceful protests on Friday in all of Egypt’s provinces to denounce the military coup against legitimacy and in support of the legitimacy of president Morsi”.
In a statement earlier, the Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, criticised “the terror of the police state through its arrests of Brotherhood leaders and the closure of satellite channels.”
A number of Islamist channels were stormed on Wednesday immediately after El-Sisi’s announcement that Morsi was no longer president, and their staff arrested. The Cairo offices of Al Jazeera were also stormed on Thursday, and two staff members arrested.
Key Brotherhood leaders have been arrested since the announcement, including Saad El-Katatni head of the Brotherhood's political arm Freedom and Justice Party.