EGYPT
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Mohammed Mursi

US asks Egyptian military to free Mohammed Mursi

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 July, 2013, 6:41am

The United States called on Egypt's military to free deposed president Mohammed Mursi, as tens of thousands of his supporters vowed to keep fighting for his reinstatement.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States agreed with Germany's earlier appeal for Mursi to be released and was publicly making the same request.

The deposed Islamist president has been held in a safe place, according to Egypt's interim leaders, and has not been seen in public since his ousting on July 3.

Psaki said Washington wanted "an end to restrictions on Mr Mursi's whereabouts", while Germany suggested a trusted institution such as the International Committee of the Red Cross be granted access to him.

Rival demonstrators rallied in the capital on Friday, but while there had been fears of fresh violence, the evening passed off peacefully.

A senior leader of Mursi's party called for mass rallies across Egypt again tomorrow.

"Next Monday a bigger crowd, God willing, in all the squares of Egypt - against the military coup," Essam el-Erian of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party said on his Facebook page yesterday.

"Egypt decides through the ballot box, through protests … and peaceful sit-ins. No one person, one elite group and military organisation will impose its decision on the people," he said.

The Muslim Brotherhood posted online a picture of a leaflet it said a military helicopter had been dropping on protesters. The leaflets assured them they were safe, but warned them not to approach military installations.

Thousands also massed in support of Mursi outside the University of Cairo, watched over by a heavy security presence.