A fresh wave of protests have been held across Egypt by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, days ahead of his trial, with clashes being reported between his supporters and opponents.
Security forces, on Friday, fired tear gas to break up protests in Alexandria and arrested at least 60 protesters. Protests also took place in the cities of Cairo and Giza.
Morsi stands trial on Monday for inciting violence which led to the murder of protesters outside his palace in December 2012.
Supporters of Morsi have called for daily protests starting on Friday until the ousted president stands trial on Monday, urging crowds to gather outside a police institute near Cairo’s Tora prison, where Morsi is believed to be held.
20,000 policemen will be deployed on Monday to guard the south Cairo academy hosting the trial and to secure Morsi’s transport to a makeshift court room, Egypt’s Interior ministry officials have said.
Morsi, who is to be tried along with 14 other defendants, has not been seen since the military ousted him on July 3.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 22 women members of the Muslim Brotherhood were, Thursday detained and charged with using force to disrupt traffic during protests, membership of an outlawed group and distributing illegal leaflets, a senior security official in Alexandria, Nasser al-Abd said.
A lawyer representing the suspects said they were aged between 15 and 25.
“We are living in oppression and darkness. I can’t believe that my daughter did not go home with me and I don’t believe that they made the girls kneel and held up pistols to them,” said Um Yumna, whose 15-year-old daughter was detained.
Abd however denied the women had been mistreated. “We are treating them with the utmost respect, like our own children. We let their parents visit them,” he said.