Egypt Faces 'Arab Spring II' As Morsy Imposes 30-Day Curfew

Tyler Durden's picture

Egypt appears to be coming unhinged once again. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has imposed a 30-day curfew (from 9pm to 6am) on several of the nation's largest cities as tensions rise from several perspectives. The most glaring 'flare' in riots is due to the death-sentences handed out this week to 21 people involved in a Port Said soccer riot - where fans bashed each other with rocks and chairs) about a year ago (where 73 people died and more than 1000 were injured). CNN reports that there are 38 deaths and 415 injuries so far in Port Said - and so the 'Morsy Moment' has occurred imposing curfews. However, while 'blame' has been apportioned to a population started by relatives of the sentenced, it seems there is more at the core of this as clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces enter their third day near Cairo's infamous Tahrir Square. The former Muslim Brotherhood leader, who became Egypt's first democratically elected leader last year, has come under fire by some who compared him to Mubarak and said he has amassed power for himself and his Islamist allies.

The protests in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and elsewhere in recent days have focused their anger at Morsy.

The bipolar reaction to the soccer riot sentencing...

 

The broader-based unrest...and Morsy's more aggressive stance...

 

Via CNN,

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy imposed a 30-day curfew on the restive city of Port Said after dozens of people were killed in riots that followed death sentences for people involved in fatal clashes at a soccer match last year.

 

In a nationwide address, Morsy said the curfew would also apply to the cities of Suez and Ismailia near the Suez Canal.

 

A riot broke out Saturday after news that 21 people had been sentenced to death for their roles in the deadly clashes at the Port Said stadium.

 

"All of Egypt condemns this behavior. We will face and confront any threat severely," Morsy said, threatening the increased use of military force. "This is for the security of the citizens and (nation)."

 

Using emergency powers, Morsy set the curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

 

"I will act, and now I am acting," the defiant Morsy said as he wagged his finger.

 

At the beginning of his statement. Morsy said he regretted the sorrowful developments from the violence, but the legal process should be respected.

 

"The rules of the law, they are not for specific factions," he said.

 

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By Sunday afternoon, the death toll in Port Said had climbed to 38 over the weekend, health officials said. More than 415 were injured.

 

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The violence began Saturday outside a prison after relatives of those convicted clashed with police and prison guards, the head of Port Said hospitals told state-run Nile TV.

 

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A deadly match

 

They were angry because 21 of their relatives had just been sentenced to death for their role in a February 1, 2012, riot that occurred at the close of a match between Cairo's prestigious Al-Ahly football club and the host Al-Masry team.

 

When the riot ended at the stadium, 73 people were dead and more than 1,000 wounded.

 

Egypt's general prosecutor charged 75 people with premeditated murder and attempted murder, while three Al-Masry officials and nine police officers were charged with "assisting the murderers."

 

According to the prosecutor's office, those charged with assisting knew about the assault ahead of time, didn't confiscate weapons in advance, didn't stop them and -- in the case of an electricity engineer who was charged -- turned off the lights directly over the bleachers where the Al-Ahly fans were sitting right after the visiting team wrapped up its 3-1 victory.

 

Fans from both sides bashed each other with rocks and chairs, yet prosecutors claimed the Port Said supporters were also armed with knives and other weapons.

 

Many died after falling from bleachers inside the stadium, while others suffocated.

 

Clashes enter third day in capital

 

Clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces in Cairo entered its third day on Sunday.

 

Police and soldiers used tear gas to quell a sometimes violent demonstration near Cairo's Tahrir Square -- the symbolic center of Egypt's revolution. Demonstrators threw rocks and burned tires and boxes, according to the state-run al-Ahram newspaper.

 

Police closed all the main roads and highways near Tahrir Square, and vehicles were not allowed to stop or wait near the square, the state-run al-Ahram newspaper reported.

 

Citing the unrest in the vicinity of Tahrir Square, the U.S. Embassy closed its offices on Sunday, according to its website. The British Embassy in Cairo also closed for the day.

 

The protests in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and elsewhere in recent days have focused their anger at Morsy.

 

The former Muslim Brotherhood leader, who became Egypt's first democratically elected leader last year, has come under fire by some who compared him to Mubarak and said he has amassed power for himself and his Islamist allies. He has insisted his moves were necessary to move Egypt forward in the face of pressing issues and persistent obstacles.

 

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