Activists to face prosecutor general Saturday
Courtesy: Alaa Abd El Fattah
 

The April 6 Youth Movement said in a statement Thursday that its founder member Ahmed Maher will appear before the prosecutor general on Saturday for questioning after a warrant for his arrest was issued yesterday.

Both he and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah have been summoned on charges that they incited people to protest in a demonstration against military trials of civilians outside the Shura Council on Tuesday. The protest was forcibly dispersed by the police 10 minutes after it began. Over 70 people were arrested, and 24 men remain in detention on charges of thuggery, attacking state officials and protesting in violation of the law. 

The police action, which the government defends as in line with a law passed Sunday that requires that police permission be secured three days in advance of a protest, has been strongly criticized by rights groups. 

Abd El Fattah and Maher, who both took part in the protest, are alleged to have organized the action. This is despite the fact that six prominent activists who were arrested at the demonstration — beaten and then dumped in the police on a road in the desert in the early hours of Wednesday morning — have notified the public prosecutor’s office that it was in fact them who organized the protest.

Abd El Fattah announced in a statement published on his Facebook page on Wednesday that he would also turn himself in to the Qasr al-Nil office of the prosecutor general at noon on Saturday.

He adds in the statement that he “doesn’t deny the charges” even if he can’t claim “the honor of claiming responsibility for people challenging the return of Mubarak’s state via legislation.”

In its statement April 6 says that despite its reservations about participating in the proceedings, which it views as “an attempt to reproduce the Mubarak state and repressive practices” it wants to show public opinion that “we do not fear being held to account as long as we are in the right and as long as we have clear consciences.”

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