No probe by Egypt's prosecutor against political activists: Judicial source

Ahram Online , Sunday 8 Sep 2013

A judicial source denies Egypt's prosecutor-general is looking into legal complains against dozens of democracy and rights activists

Liberal politician Amr Hamzawy (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's prosecutor-general did not open a probe into legal complaints against a group of prominent democracy and rights activists as reported, a judicial source at the prosecutor's office told state news agency MENA on Sunday.

Several news reports claimed the prosecutor had received complaints from private individuals against 35 political personalities, including prominent figures associated with the 25 January Revolution that toppled autocratic president Hosni Mubarak. 

The source dismissed the news as "altogether untrue," added MENA. The prosecutor's office also called upon media outlets not to publish any such news without verification from prosecutors "so as not to agitate public opinion" with false reports.  

The complaints were said to accuse the activists of receiving funds from the United States and other countries based on embassy cables revealed by WikiLeaks.

Those reported to be facing allegations include activist Ahmed Maher, blogger Ahmed Douma and liberal politician Amr Hamzawy.

Hamzawy denied the allegations via a Twitter message on Saturday. "Circulating news that I got foreign money is completely untrue. The fabrication and distortion campaign must immediately stop," he tweeted.

Separately, Haitham Mohamedeen, a rights activist belonging to the leftist Revolutionary Socialist Movement, was arrested and questioned by prosecutors in Suez on Thursday, but was later released.  His arrest has heightened fears of a widening crackdown on dissenters.

Security forces already launched a fierce crackdown on senior leaders of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi emerged, on allegations including inciting violence. Around 2,000 other Islamists have also been rounded up in little less than two months following the police dispersal of two large pro-Morsi protest camps on 14 August. 

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