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Monday, September 30, 2013

 Violent Clashes at Egyptian Universities

Several groups of students at different universities across Egypt protested and clashed violently on Sunday, the first day of the school week; 29 people were wounded in the clashes.  Students at Ain Shams University, Zagazig University and students at a university in Tanta, a town north of Cairo, fought during protests supporting deposed President Mohamed Morsi. Some students brought molotov cocktails and guns to the protests and gunmen reportedly attacked a pro-Morsi march that took place on the Zagazig University campus, in the town of Zagazig in lower Egypt.

Egypt Extends Detention Period for Canadians

Tarek Loubani and John Greyson, a doctor and a filmmaker, were arrested by police in Cairo while asking for directions back to their hotel in mid-August. Yesterday, prosecutors extended their detention for another 45 days, despite the fact that they have not been formally charged with any crimes. The two have been informally accused of a “bundle of accusations, including murder, conspiracy to murder, thuggery, violence, incitement to violence and destruction of public buildings,” according to a statement they released.  They two say they were on their way to Gaza when they stopped off in Cairo overnight, and witnessed one of the pro-Morsi protests. Loubani began treating injured protesters, and the two were arrested not long after. They say that they were two of 602 others arrested that evening. “The arrest stories of our Egyptian cellmates are remarkably similar to ours: Egyptians who were picked up on dark streets after the protest, by thugs or cops, blocks or miles from the police station that is the alleged site of our alleged crimes,” they wrote in the statement. Loubani and Greyson also described abhorrent conditions in the prison, and being beaten by guards. They are currently on their 12th day of a hunger strike.

Brotherhood Leader Calls for Dialogue, Morsi’s Reinstatement

Essam al-Erian, the Vice President of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice party, called for dialogue in an appearance on Al Jazeera yesterday. He also set near-impossible conditions, stating the “leaders of the coup” had to admit their wrongdoings and reinstate former President Mohamed Morsi. “We are in a path of a coup at a time when all nations have said goodbye to military coups,” al-Erian said. As one of the few remaining leaders of the group who is not behind bars, al-Erian spoke from an undisclosed location. Egyptian security forces have arrested hundreds of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Erian has been in hiding for more than a month.

ElBaradei Decries “Fascist Campaign”

Former Egyptian Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei spoke out against what he called the “fascist” campaign by the media and political leaders in Egypt, saying, “violence only begets violence.” ElBaradei resigned from his position in the military-backed interim government when Egyptian security forces violently dispersed pro-Morsi protesters in mid-August, killing hundreds.  The Nobel Prize winner and former head of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was verbally attacked by former supporters and many prominent political figures when he decided to step down. ElBaradei faces charges of treason within Egypt and currently resides abroad.

Protests in Sudan Demand Overthrow of President

After the Sudanese government slashed fuel subsidies last week, Sudanese took to the streets to express their discontent. Thousands protested in Khartoum, Omdurman and other cities, and 33 people were killed during clashes with Sudanese security forces. Yesterday, protesters in the capital demonstrated against the government and demanded that President Omar Al-Bashir resign, echoing the chants of recent protesters across the Arab world. The Sudanese government is planning to raise salaries to counter the unrest.

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