Update: Activists respond to prosecutor's summons

Update: Activists respond to prosecutor's summons

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Mon, 25/03/2013 - 22:11

Major anti-Brotherhood activist figures spoke out against the charges levied against them on Monday night, after the prosecutor general issued an official summons, arrest warrants and travel bans pursuant to investigations into charges that they were responsible for last week's violent clashes in Moqattam.

Karim al-Shaer wrote on his Facebook page that he would not present himself before a "pro-Muslim Brotherhood prosecution," and would refuse to cooperate with investigations. Activist Hazem Abdel Azim also said he wouldn't cooperate with the prosecutors.

However, Alaa Abd El Fattah told satellite channel ONTv that, fearing police reprisals, he would appear before the prosecutor general.

The prosecutor general is reportedly planning to order the arrest of 23 more activists on charges of inciting violence in last week's Moqattam clashes. Earlier Monday evening arrest warrants were issued for Alaa Abdel Fatah, Ahmed Douma, Hazem Abdel Azim, Karim al-Shaer and Ahmed Ghoneimy.

Condemning the decision, members of the Kefaya movement have called for a mass prayer in front of the prosecutor general's office, staging a mass demonstration and besieging the High Court. They also issued a call to storm the Media Production City.

In a statement issued Monday, the movement said the protest rejects the "oppression by the militias of the regime [President Mohamed Morsy's administration], representing the Muslim Brotherhood, against opposition [forces]." They said pressing charges against anti-Brotherhood activists constituted an act of oppression.

"You [the Brotherhood] are acting like Mubarak.You will not terrify us by filing your reports or oppressing us," the movement cautioned in its statement.

Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah also banned the activists from travelling outside the country, his spokesperson said on Facebook. Activist Nawwara Negm will also be interrogated in relation to these charges.

News of the impending arrests comes shortly after the South Cairo prosecution issued an official summons to leading figures from opposition political parties on charges of inciting the Moqattam clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and detractors last week.

The move comes after Brotherhood members, including the group's lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud filed a complaint against 169 people, including former presidential candidate Khaled Ali, Free Egyptians Party leader Mahmoud al-Alaily, Dostour Party member Hazem Abdel Azim, Egyptian Democratic Party head Mohamed Abul Ghar and Tagammu Party youth committee secretary Khaled Telimh. The suit described those named as "thugs."

Khaled Ali said on Twitter that he had not received any official summons.

Former leftist MP Ziad al-Elimy also said that no one named in the investigations and complaints had received an official summons, and that they would not agree to be interrogated by the current prosecutor general, but rather would request to be investigated by an independent judge.

Two hundred were injured in clashes between anti-Morsy protestors and his supporters on Friday, leaving 200 injured, according to the Health Ministry. Opposition activists also attempted to break into Brotherhood offices and those of the Freedom and Justice Party in Cairo and several other governorates.

Abdel Maqsoud demanded that the prosecution hear the testimonies of “the 276 people who were injured and abducted" in the clashes, and to investigate damages to cars, mosques and other public buildings during the incidents.

The complaint also demanded that the Interior Ministry launch investigations into the organizers of the protests, and those who contributed to publicizing them through any media.  

CDs containing 54 videos and 155 photographs were included with the suit as potential evidence against those who allegedly assaulted Brotherhood members.

Abdel Maqsoud said that more evidence is being prepared against other suspects, and that Brotherhood offices nationwide are being assessed damages.

On Thursday the lawyer had filed a complaint demanding that those organizing protests in front of the Brotherhood headquarters in Moqattam stop inciting violence and causing unrest, and demonstrate peacefully.

This was in response to a statement released by 35 public figure and 21 political forces announcing their participation in a peaceful demonstration in front of the Guidance Bureau, "in a clear political message, domestically and internationally, that the Guidance Bureau is the de facto ruler of the country with an illegal group that is not subjected to the law.”

They also agreed to not accept being interrogated before the leaders of the Guidance Bureau are interrogated on the Ettahadeya clashes that took place last December and led to the death to over 10 people.