Activists face court, deny charges of inciting Cairo violence

Ahram Online, Sunday 15 Jan 2012

Three high-profile activists are questioned over allegations they encouraged protesters to attack military in mid-December

Political activists Nawara Negm, Sheikh Mazhar Shaheen and Tarek El-Kholy have been dismissed from New Cairo Court after being questioned on charges of inciting violence against the armed forces on 16 December.

High-profile activist Negm and Sheikh Shaheen, known as the Tahrir preacher for his regular speeches at Friday protests, were summoned for questioning on 8 January after investigating judges reportedly received complaints they had "[incited] violence, stirring peaceful protesters to clash with army forces." Rights lawyer El-Kholy also stands accused of the same charges.
The battles in central Cairo on 16 December ended with 16 dead and 928 injured. 
Negm, Shaheen and El-Kholy denied all accusations against them. The case relies on testimonies from eyewitnesses who claim to have seen the three inciting violence.
The three accused denied they had seen businessman and activist Mamdouh Hamza giving protesters money to clash with the army. Hamza, who failed to show up in court, is scheduled to attend on Wednesday.
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