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Egypt prosecutor-general orders arrest of 'Black Bloc' members
Prosecutor-general orders immediate arrest of all members of Egypt's newest 'revolutionary' faction; Lawyer charges opposition leader Sabbahi - among others - with involvement in masked group's establishment
Ahram Online, Tuesday 29 Jan 2013
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Black Bloc
A member of the Black Bloc is seen during the protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo January 25, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdallah on Tuesday ordered the arrest of all members of the anti-state 'Black Bloc' group, which has made its appearance in recent anti-government demonstrations and disrupted traffic and Cairo's Metro line.

Abdallah directed police and Egypt's armed forces to arrest anyone suspected of being affiliated with the group. He also urged citizens to provide any information they have about the group or its members and assist in their arrest by authorities.

Charges were brought against the group by lawyer Khaled El-Masry, who accused it of inciting chaos across the country and torching the office of the Muslim Brotherhood's website (ikhwanonline) and several pharmacies.

El-Masry's lawsuit also accuses a handful of prominent opposition personalities with involvement in the group's establishment. These include former presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi, his presidential campaign coordinator Sherif Ashraf, Tahrir television channel owner Soliman Amer, and television presenter Dina Abdel-Fattah.

On Tuesday, Abdallah formally launched an investigation into the allegations.

Hussein Yassin, spokesman for Egypt's public prosecution, told state news agency MENA that investigations had revealed the Black Bloc to be an "organised, terrorist group."

"Sabotage, rioting and intimidation of citizens by the group makes it subject to penalty under Egypt's penal code," added Yassin

According to the public prosecution, withholding information about the group, promoting the group's image, or even dressing like its members could all result in legal penalties, as the Black Bloc's recent activities serve to "endanger the state's internal security."

The Bloc has been described as a "vigilante group," members of which are characterised by their black clothing, face masks and readiness to resort to violence to realise so-called 'revolutionary objectives.'

The group made its first public appearance last week during nationwide anti-government rallies marking the Tahrir Square uprising's second anniversary.

On Tuesday, the Bloc's 'Red Sea group' announced on an official Facebook page that it had dissolved its presence in the coastal governorate.

It went on to deny any responsibility for riots that have erupted across the country in recent days, claiming that charges to this effect were "trumped-up."

The group went on to call on members to take to the streets "wearing t-shirts" rather than their trademark black garb and face masks.



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8



Ramez Wadie
31-01-2013 01:39pm
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Any Relation
Is there any relation between Black Bloc and Ultras? This needs to be checked..
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Ihab
30-01-2013 01:57pm
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no terror in the name of desperation
some hypocritical elements of the opposition argue that desperate people do desperate things: Well, would this silly argument hold before any court of law? should a desperate person be allowed then to murder his neighbor or torch his home because he is desperarte??? This is criminal terror not desparation.
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6



Democracia
30-01-2013 12:41pm
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Equal rights...
Men wearing Niqab? Yeah, finally something new... Why not? Equal rights for everybody!!! LOL...
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Democracia
01-02-2013 06:10pm
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Thanks...
Dear freedom fighter Aladdin: Thanks for the "flowers", but you know that a gift says more about the character of the one who give it than of the one who get it?
Freedom Fighter, ALaddin
31-01-2013 06:08am
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That was funny!!!
Nothing more disgusting than a laughing slut.
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Dr. Malek Towghi --USA
30-01-2013 09:31am
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Speak Out before it is too late!
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me ... and there was no one left for me. (Martin Niemoller)
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Democracia
01-02-2013 05:05am
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“Black Bloc” that!!!
Thank you Al-Ahram for providing the video of “Black Bloc “. OK, so they are bunch of armatures, that like head banging music and obscene language. It this is what is Egypt is all about. Do we believe that end justify the mean. Killing, burning, stealing etc.…. are not Islamic values. Shame on the oppositions for partnering with the devils to get the big seat that Morsi gained.
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Freedom Fighter, ALaddin
30-01-2013 04:41am
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Give the police the appropriate gears
The police force at disadvantage position. They needs better gears and weapons. In the West, Police has the right to shoot to kill when his/her life is threatened. Egyptian Police force should do the same. Allah Akber
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3



Ahmed Nawar
29-01-2013 10:03pm
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Terrorist thugs in the service of Egypt's enemies
These terrorist thugs want to destroy Egypt in the service of Israel. They must be crushed. The opposition should distance itself from them or else it will commit political suicide.
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Observer
01-02-2013 03:36am
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Know and understand the different political, sociological, economical and religious groups in Egypt before coming up with ignorant rubbish like this.
Get informed. Isreal doesn't need to "pay thugs to destroy Egypt". Egyptians are doing a good enough job amongst themselves. Anti Morsi does NOT equal pro-Israel.
Johannes
30-01-2013 11:31am
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Sources?
Who told you this? The governement? The media? Site your sources. And know the difference between Israel's US-lobby and capitalists trying to defend their anti-Islamic acts, and protesters who defy the state, 'cause these people (the ones who use the Black Bloc-tactics) are the same who fight against the same oppression of state and capitalists in USA, Europe and all over the world. Know your enemies.
Dr. Malek Towghi - USA
30-01-2013 08:30am
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Speak Up for thr Black Block's Human Rights
What are exactly the charges against Black Block? Do they have any rights to defend themselves in the courts? It will be a pity if the opposition parties, human rights groups and free intellectuals remain silent while the Black Bloc activists are persecuted.
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ali solaiman
29-01-2013 07:59pm
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that.s right
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1



maryam
29-01-2013 07:34pm
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Finally
that,s a good start all the thugs behind bars .
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