Legitimacy alliance plans mass protests against Morsi trial, referendum

The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy is planning mass protests against the trial of former President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday January 8, the group announced in a statement on Monday.

Morsi, among other Muslim Brotherhood leaders, is facing trial in the Cairo Criminal Court on charges of killing ten protesters in front of the Ettehadiya Presidential Palace in November 2012. 

Dismissing the trial as the “farce of the century,” the statement urged the deposed president’s supporters to gather en masse in front of the Police Academy where the trial takes place for a day of protest called “The People Defend Their President.”

“The free people living abroad shall rise on the same day to declare their opposition to the invalid referendum on the black document [referring to the draft constitution],” the statement added.

An unnamed source from the alliance said the group was preparing for mass protests during the constitutional referendum on January 14 and 15, reported the privately owned newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm (AMAY).

The alliance would mobilize university students to march on Tahrir Square and hold a sit-in there for the two days of voting, the source claimed.

This “revolutionary wave” would “perplex police forces” who would be torn between securing the street and securing the ballot boxes, the source continued.

The alliance debated several gestures of protest, and considered “besieging polling stations” before finally deciding to organize the sit-in to take advantage of the absence of police, as the majority of security forces would be occupied with protecting polling stations, added the source.

The alliance plans to coordinate with other revolutionary forces and political activists, who would support the planned sit-in if it succeeds, according to AMAY.

But the alliance denied these claims to Mada Masr, saying the group had released no such statements.

Security forces have prioritized keeping Muslim Brotherhood supporters away from Tahrir since Morsi was removed from power in July.

Police forces allegedly killed over 50 Brotherhood-sympathizing protesters as they attempted to enter the square on the anniversary of the October 6 War.

In another statement released in English on the alliance’s official Facebook page, the deposed president’s son, Osama Morsi, claimed that his father was being denied visits from his family or lawyers.

“The banning of visits to President Morsi is a brutal act of repression, no different from his enforced disappearance. For us, the president has been forcibly abducted by coup authorities,” Osama alleged.

The statement added that visits to Morsi have been banned due to security concerns.

Morsi is being held in the Borg Al-Arab Prison in the coastal city of Alexandria as he awaits the conclusion of multiple court cases against him.

 “As we mentioned before, President Morsi is held hostage by the junta who executed an illegitimate coup and have no qualms about taking any action against him, however oppressive,” the statement continued.

“These coup authorities are accustomed to using everything against humanity and rights. We do not recognize the January 8 trial, nor any of the other trials.”

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