Revolutionary preacher and activist summoned for investigation on Cabinet clampdown

Ahram Online, Sunday 8 Jan 2012

Prominent revolutionary Muslim preacher and rights lawyer will be interrogated on allegations of inciting violence in December

Activist Nawara Negm (left) and Omar Makram Mosque preacher Mazhar Shahin (right)

The sheikh of Omar Makram Mosque located on Tahrir Square, Mazhar Shahin, known as the “Tahrir preacher”, and prominent activist Nawara Negm have been summoned by prosecutors in relation to bloody clashes in December following a clampdown on a sit-in at the nearby Cabinet headquarters.

Investigating judges reportedly received complaints that Shahin and Negm, along with rights lawyer Taher El-Kholy, took part in “inciting violence among peaceful protesters to clash with the army forces”.

Hundreds of protesters had staged a sit-in at the Cabinet headquarters for three weeks to protest military rule and Kamal El-Ganzouri’s appointment as interim prime minister. The army forcibly dispersed the sit-in at the crack of dawn on Friday, 16 December, causing clashes with protesters that went on for five days.

Various videos and photos spread on social media sites during the clashes showing army soldiers and plain-clothed personnel using brutal violence against protesters, holding guns at point-blank level at protesters, and dragging and beating protesters, male and female alike.

The ruling Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued a statement Friday, 16 December, strongly denying claims that the military police instigated the violent clashes. The statement also depicted protesters as armed troublemakers.

The death toll resulting from the army’s crackdown on the Cabinet sit-in reached 16 — most of which from gunshots — and 928 injuries, according to health ministry reports.

The summoning of Negm and Shahin comes one day after investigators summoned political figure and possible presidential candidate Ayman Nour along with engineer and activist Mamdouh Hamza on the same accusations.

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