CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian security forces fired tear gas Friday during clashes with rock-throwing supporters of the ousted Islamist president demonstrating in several districts across the country, officials said.
Meanwhile, authorities said that toppled leader Mohammed Morsi, held in a remote prison pending trial, will not receive visits from his family and lawyers after smuggling a statement through his lawyers. It said that Egypt will not see stability unless he returns to power.
Security forces arrested more than 70 protesters in the most intense of Friday's clashes in southern, eastern and central neighborhoods of Cairo, a security official said. Other rallies in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the central city of Fayoum also descended into violence, with security forces firing volleys of tear gas to disperse Morsi's supporters rallying in city squares.
Egypt has been in turmoil since the 2011 ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak. After overthrowing Morsi, security forces heavily cracked down on his supporters, killing hundreds, arresting top leaders and sending many to court on charges including incitement to violence.
Morsi, who has for the most part been held incommunicado, was seen for the first time in public when his trial opened on Nov. 4 over charges of inciting murder and violence in connection to last year's clashes in front of the presidential palace, where 10 people were killed. Since then, he was moved to Borg el-Arab prison. He received two visits from his family and lawyers.
Ministry spokesman Col. Gamal Mokhtar said that Morsi had delivered four messages "inciting violence" against the interim government during a first meeting with his lawyers on Nov. 13.
"The lawyers turned to messengers carrying assignments to their followers outside," he said.
Morsi made a statement through his lawyers saying Egypt will see no stability unless he returns to power. He was overthrown by the military on July 3 after millions demonstrated calling on him to leave office.
One of Morsi's sons, Osama, posted on his official Facebook page on Thursday that his most recent request to visit his father was turned down. He says Morsi was moved from his place of detention to another undisclosed location.