The Muslim Brotherhood has marched in over 20 of Egypt’s governorates in support of President Mohamed Morsy’s constitutional decree, and in response to opposition protests decrying it.
The Brotherhood and its political wing the Freedom and Justice Party, alongside other Islamists groups like the Salafi Nour Party, have marched in Cairo, Alexandria, Assiut, Sharqia, Arish and at least 15 other governorates.
“The people support the president’s decisions,” was the refrain of crowds as they marched in support of Morsy all this week. The crowds numbered in the dozens in governorates such as Qena and in the thousands in places like Alexandria.
Several protests turned violent on Friday as the Brotherhood’s marches crossed paths with opposition marches protesting the president’s decree.
In the Beheira capital of Damanhur Islam Fathy, a 15-year-old boy, was killed in clashes between the Brotherhood and the opposition. The Muslim Brotherhood claims Fathy was a member.
Opposition protestors broke into a Freedom and Justice Party office in Alexandria and burned its contents. Police did not get involved in clashes between Brotherhood and opposition clashes across the country.
Morsy released a constitutional decree on Thursday removing the prosecutor general and replacing him; placing his edicts above court appeal; protecting the Shura Council and Constituent Assembly form court dissolutions; and extending the latter’s deadline for drafting a constitution by two months.
The president also gave himself the power to take any decision necessary to “protect the revolution.”
Supporters of Morsy claim these new powers are temporary and necessary to safeguard the democratic transition from a corrupt judiciary, while opposition members say the decree is a return to dictatorship and one-man rule.
There are large protests scheduled by pro and anti-government groups for Tuesday. Opposition groups will protest in Tahrir Square while the Muslim Brotherhood has called for protests in front of Cairo University.