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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:29 AM

Egypt crisis: rival protests over referendum - live updates

Source: Guardian

Opponents and supporters of President Mohamed Morsi plan to hold rival demonstrations in Cairo ahead of Saturday's referendum on a new constitution which the president refuses to delay. Leftists, liberals and other opposition groups have called for marches to the presidential palace in the afternoon to protest against the hastily-drafted constitution. Islamists, who dominated the body that drew up the constitution, have urged their followers to turn out "in millions" in a show of support for the president and for the referendum.

Morsi has given Egypt's armed forces the power of arrest and detention until the result of Saturday's referendum on a draft constitution is announced. Opposition forces are still considering whether to boycott the referendum or mobilise for a "no" vote if it is not postponed.

Morsi's supporters captured, detained and beat dozens of his political opponents last week and pressured them to confess that they had accepted money to use violence against him, the New York Times reports. It says the abuses are hurting the credibility of Morsi and his allies in the run up to the referendum.

Human rights groups have condemned Morsi for reintroducing martial law. Amnesty International said the measure set a dangerous precedent given the way the army crackdown on protest while it was in power. Human Rights Watch said Morsi should be ending not expanding military trials.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/dec/11/egypt-crisis-rival-protests-morsi-live

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