Egypt's top prosecutor orders probe into Facebook page for 'inciting violence'

Ahram Online, Thursday 21 Aug 2014

Dozens of alleged Muslim Brotherhood members have been arrested in recent months over online activity that authorities say incites violence

A smartphone user shows the Facebook application on his phone in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, in this photo illustration, May 2, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's top prosecutor has ordered an investigation into the administrators of a Facebook page on allegations of inciting violence against security forces.

Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat has assigned specific prosecution units to look into a page called "Popular Resistance Movement" on the grounds that it incites against state institutions and calls for assaulting army and police personnel.

The Egyptian police's communications department says it has identified the page's administrator, a teacher living in the Nile Delta city of Qalioubiya, who allegedly posted Muslim Brotherhood slogans and statements with "enticing phrases that disturb public security and call for rallies."

He was arrested and his laptop was confiscated. His brother was also arrested with a laptop and an internet router.

Since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted last summer, authorities have cracked down on his supporters and members of his group, the Muslim Brotherhood, leaving hundreds killed and thousands in jail.

A wave of militant attacks, blamed by the authorities on the Brotherhood and their Islamist allies, has also swept the country.

The Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organisation last year, with all their activities banned and their assets, funds and charity businesses confiscated.

In July, prosecutors in Mattariya, Greater Cairo, ordered 15-days detention for a man pending investigation into his alleged creation of a Facebook page titled "Mattariya against the Coup" that called for violence against police members.

The prosecution has also accused the defendant of joining a terrorist group and attempting to topple the regime. Arrest warrants have been issued for three other people.

In January, the interior ministry said it had begun arresting internet users who used social media websites to incite violence against the police or citizens.

The announcement was followed by the arrest of dozens of alleged Brotherhood members accused of administrating Facebook sites that advocated terrorism against the state.

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