CAIRO: Members of the Muslim Brotherhood are considering whether to hold a sit-in Monday in protest of the trial of former president Mohamed Morsi, according to sources from a coalition supporting the Brotherhood.
A decision is expected by the end of the day, sources from the National Legitimacy Support Coalition (NLSC) said. If Brotherhood youth decide to protest or sit-in before that, it would be a separate decision, sources said.
The first session of the trial of the former president began this morning at 10 a.m. local time, and adjourned several hours later. The court announced that trial has been postponed until Jan. 8, 2014.
Morsi is charged with killing protesters during violent clashes that took place outside Ithadeya Presidential Palace last December, as well as torture and inciting violence.
Mr. Hussein Mohamed Ibrahim, head of the Freedom and Justice Party’s parliamentary bloc, said protests are expected but it would be advisable not to take any action that would escalate tensions, to avoid injuries or deaths.
Meanwhile, protesters outside the Police Academy in the Fifth Settlement, where the trial was held, assaulted journalists and TV crews early Monday.
A number of Brotherhood defense lawyers are threatening to hold a sit-in outside the Police Academy in response to being prevented from entering the court, sources said.
Lawyers of the victims were also prevented from entering, however, security officials allowed lawyers of the National Democratic Party (NDP) to enter the court, said Hamada el-Dibsy, a member of Morsi’s defense team.
The Salafist Nour Party has decided that it will not hold a sit-in, or protest beyond the end of the day Monday, said Mahmoud Hegazy, a member of the party’s supreme body. Protests will be peaceful, Hegazy added.
If the Brotherhood were to call for a sit-in outside the Police Academy, it would be considered an escalation, Hegazy said.
It is best for the FJP and the Nour Party to try to establish a dialogue around reform rather than participate in violence or hold sit-ins, Hegazy added.