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Egypt's top prosecutor reminds citizens of their right to arrest 'vandals'

On eve of mass anti-government rallies expected on Sunday, Egypt's prosecutor-general reminds citizens of their right to arrest anyone found 'vandalising' public property

Ahram Online, Thursday 27 Jun 2013
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Views: 1326

Two days before nationwide anti-government protests are set to kick off, Egypt's prosecutor-general released a statement reminding citizens of their legal right to arrest anyone who vandalises public property.

In a Thursday statement, the prosecutor-general stressed its support for peaceful protests while simultaneously asserting that some acts were "criminal" and therefore "punishable by law."

Such acts include attacks on police or army officers tasked with protecting public institutions; acts of violence or 'thuggery'; the blocking of roads or highways; and the obstruction of public institutions from performing their responsibilities.

The statement went on to remind citizens that they had the legal right to arrest perpetrators of any of the above-mentioned acts.

"The prosecution would like to remind citizens of the right of police and army officers to arrest anyone who breaks the law," the statement said. "It also reminds citizens of their right to arrest criminals and hand them over to the nearest officer with power of arrest."

In March 2013, Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah set off a firestorm of controversy when he declared that citizens had the right to arrest "vandals."

"Egypt's prosecutor-general urges all citizens to exercise the right afforded them by Article 37 of Egypt's criminal procedure law... to arrest anyone found committing a crime and refer them to official personnel," the prosecutor-general's office had said at the time.

In June 2012, Egypt's justice ministry issued a decree authorising military-intelligence officers and military police officers to arrest civilians, a right previously reserved for police officers alone.

Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court, however, overturned the decree shortly afterward.

After clashes erupted on the second anniversary of Egypt's January 2011 uprising, President Mohamed Morsi declared a state of emergency in the three cities of Egypt's Suez Canal, again giving army officers the power to arrest citizens.

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Dr. Gripe
28-06-2013 04:59pm
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Mursi Regime compared to Early Nazi Germany 1930's
The rise to power and the systematic overtaking of key components of the government was in fact similar to that used by Chancelor Adolf Hitler in 1929-1934.. followed by the development of "Citizens" wearing brown shirts who were encouraged to enforce "laws" and arrest violators and those who were being civilly disobiediant. Mursi and his appopinted broitherhood co conspirators occupying the key ofices of the Egyptian government and declaring the citizen responsibility to arrest other citizens and then to simultaneously support a war in Syria and try to play with the Ethiopian Crisis an using those as distractions from the immediate crises of Egypt and the rule of real democracy is scary and reminds me of Pre-world war II Germany. If I were an Egyptian... I would be afraid.. VERY AFRAID of Mursi and his dominions the Brotherhood.
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agnabi
28-06-2013 07:22pm
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Egyptians care about their own problems much more than foreign affairs, I think
It is very natural to arrest violators and to enforce laws....Also especially in the eras of globalization, many incidents happen outside of the country. which is very natural. And I don't think Ethiopian and Syrian matters can be distraction of many Egyptians around me. They don't care so much when the economy and their life face so many urgent problems...
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