Egypt's press protest constitution

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Al-Akhbar Management

Riot police stand guard as a supporter of Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi shouts slogans in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Maadi, south of Cairo on 2 December 2012. (Photo: Reuters - Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Published Monday, December 3, 2012

Egypt’s newspapers joined opposition calls to bin the new draft constitution Monday with some front page headlines reading “No to dictatorship,” as top judges announced their refusal to oversee the referendum on the controversial charter.

A cartoon of a newspaper in human form chained in a cell was pasted on the front of several independent papers including Al-Watan and Al-Masry Al-Youm with the line “A constitution that cancels rights and shackles freedoms. No to dictatorship.”

The papers also declared that they would not go to print on Tuesday.

The move is the latest in a string of protests against President Mohammed Mursi who issued a decree November 22 expanding his powers and rushed through the adoption of a draft constitution on Friday which the opposition says fails to protect freedom of speech.

The president's decree also barred any judicial body from dissolving the Islamist-dominated panel that drafted the charter.

Egyptian judges on Sunday night said they would not oversee a referendum scheduled for December 15 on the constitution.

The announcement by the Judges Club, which represents judges nationwide, came after Egypt's top court began an open-ended strike in the face of a large protest outside the courthouse by Islamist supporters of Mursi.

Election supervision by the judges would have provided them a seal of legitimacy, but they have been openly at odds with Mursi since he issued last month’s decree placing both his decisions and the charter panel beyond their scrutiny.

__title__The December 3 cover of Egypt's <i>Al-Watan</i> reads: "A constitution that cancels rights and shackles freedoms. No to dictatorship."

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)


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