Accused activists and Tahrir Preacher arrive at prosecutor's amidst solidarity chants ‎

Ahram Online, Sunday 15 Jan 2012

Demonstrators assemble in front of court in solidarity with summoned activists and preacher who are accused of inciting protesters against military

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

Investigations into activists Nawara Negm and Tarek El-Kholy together with Sheikh Mazhar Shaheen, known as the Tahrir Preacher, resumed Sunday at the New Cairo Court. The prosecution office’s summons rests on testimonies accusing the aforementioned three of inciting violence.

Activists, demonstrating in solidarity, arrived alongside the accused, chanting, “Down with military rule” and “the revolutionaries will be back on the 25th” – referring to plans for a protest on the anniversary of the 18-day uprising’s launch. Security forces surrounded the court, preventing demonstrators from entering.

As Shaheen entered the court, a woman threw an egg his way and was attacked by demonstrators in return. Demonstrators continued gathering outside the court, as the proceedings got underway.

Sunday’s appearance marks the second time the three accused have stood in front of prosecution. The judge postponed last session's investigations, objecting to the assembled activists outside the court.

The high profile activists and preacher were summoned for questioning on 8 January after investigating judges reportedly received complaints that Shaheen and Negm, along with rights lawyer El-Kholy, took part in “inciting violence, stirring peaceful protesters to clash with army forces.” The testimonies accusing the activists materialised during investigations into the violent16 December clashes which erupted between military forces and protesters before Cabinet’s office, following an attempt to disperse the anti-Cabinet sit-in. The clampdown left 16 dead and 928 injured. 

Presidential hopeful Ayman Nour as well as famous engineer Mamdouh Hamza were also summoned and banned from leaving the country due to similar allegations.

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