Friday, March 9, 2012

Egypt's military probe charges against 12 actvists who played leading role in overthrow of Mubarak

Egypt's military prosecutors are investigating allegations against 12 top activists who played a leading role in the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, the official news agency MENA reported Thursday.
It said the allegations, which include inciting hatred against the military and trying to overthrow the government, were filed by more than 700 members of the public to the office of Egypt's top prosecutor.
Alaa al-Aswani
The inquiry was only preliminary, it said. It quoted chief military prosecutor Maj. Gen. Adel al-Mursi as saying none of the 12 would even be summoned for questioning unless an examination of the allegations establishes their credibility.
Since taking over from Mubarak a year ago, Egypt's generals have consistently targeted critics, trying to intimidate them by summoning them for questioning by military prosecutors. Another tactic has been using loyal journalists, particularly talk show hosts on state and private TV stations, to discredit activists as irresponsible or as foreign agents, while presenting the generals as true patriots.
Buthaina Kamel
The latest move against the 12 may not lead to trials, but it appeared designed to intimidate them. One thing in common among all 12 is their opposition to military rule. Among them are world famous novelist Alaa al-Aswany, former Google executive and activist Wael Ghoneim, TV talk show hosts Youssri Foudah and Reem Maged; member of parliament Ziad el-Aleimi (who publicly associated military leader Hussein Tantawi with a donkey), female TV presenter and presidential candidate Butheina Kamel, and the female activists, Asmaa Mahfouz and Nawara Negm. Others are George Ishaq, a co-founder of the Kefaya-movement, and Mamdouh Hamza, an architect who has been a generous backer of the uprising.
Mamdouh Hamza
Negm was beaten by a pro-military mob in Cairo in January and was questioned by prosecutors the same month over her alleged role in deadly clashes between troops and protesters in Cairo the month before. She is the daughter of Ahmed Fouad Negm, Egypt's best known satirical poet and longtime critic of Mubarak. Mahfouz, a leading figure in last year's uprising, was also questioned earlier by military prosecutors over her activism. Hamza, the architect, is already under investigation for allegedly encouraging Egyptians to go on strike to mark the Feb. 11 anniversary of Mubarak's resignation. Al-Aswany has publicly complained about harassment by "thugs."

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