27/11/2012 14:56 GMT

Egypt's Police Fire Tear Gas At Anti-Morsi Protestors Near Tahir Square (VIDEO, PICTURES)

Egyptian police have fired tear gas at protesters demanding the withdrawal of President Morsi's decree expanding his powers.

Demonstrators gathered near Tahir Square, the symbolic rallying point of Egypt's Arab Spring last year, but were confronted by security forces.

Violence has blighted Egypt since Morsi announced last week he would be forging ahead with legislation that would allow him to "issue any decree or law that final and not subject to appeal", effectively placing him above the law, reports the Telegraph.

A meeting on Monday between Morsi and Egypt's judiciary confirmed that he would not withdraw the decree but would respect judicial independence, according to the BBC.

The Arab Spring and subsequent democratic elections were widely seen as a step forward for Egypt but many see Morsi's current grab for power as a return to the dictatorial days of Hosni Mubarak.