World Bulletin / News Desk
Egyptian security forces arrested on Thursday evening prominent Alaa Abdel-Fattah over partaking in a Tuesday protest that the authorities said it was unlicensed.
Alaa's Father, Ahmed Seif al-Islam, told Anadolu Agency that the family does not know where the security forces took his son after arresting him at the latter's home.
"The security forces also assaulted his wife and ransacked the home," Seif al-Islam, a veteran legal activist, said, voicing fears that his son might be tortured while in police custody.
The father also said that Alaa was due to appear before prosecution on Saturday on charges of incitement to protesting and partaking in an unlicensed protest outside the Shura Council (the upper house of parliament) building in downtown Cairo on Tuesday.
Arresting him on Thursday "raises questions about the intentions of the security agencies and the possibility of holding him in an undisclosed place until referring him to prosecution," he added.
The Egyptian prosecution ordered the arrest Abdel-Fattah on charges of breaking a recently issued law that makes it illegal to organize protests before in-advance security approval.
At least 24 activists were arrested for partaking in the Tuesday protest.
The protesters called for an end to the trial of civilians before military courts and urged the 50-member constitution-drafting panel meeting inside the parliament HQ to scrap a proposed article allowing the practice in the new charter.
The panel has endorsed an article allowing military trials for civilians found to have been involved in attacking military property, facilities or vehicles.
According to judicial sources, the protestors face charges of thuggery, assaults on civil servants on duty, possession of bladed weapons and protesting without license.
The new law makes it necessary for protest organizers to submit written notification to the Interior Ministry three days prior to staging a demonstration.
It gives the Interior Ministry the right to deny organizers permission if the planned demo was deemed a "threat to security or public safety" or if security conditions were found to be "inappropriate."
According to the law, violators will either be fined or imprisoned – penalties that provoked the ire of many Egyptian politicians and activists who say the legislation curbs freedoms and gives police free rein to bar popular protest.
Alaa Abdel Fattah was a symbol of the 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak.
Pro-Brotherhood journalist arrested
Egyptian security forces also arrested journalist Hani Salahuddin at Cairo airport, security sources said.
Salahuddin, also a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was arrested as he tried to travel to Lebanon, the sources said.
He faces charges of incitement to violence and was arrested following a warrant by the state security prosecution, they added.
He was the editing manager of Youm7 newspaper, but the paper said he took a leave two years ago to be dedicated to his TV show on a satellite channel affiliate to the Brotherhood.
Egyptian authorities have unleashed a massive crackdown on Brotherhood leaders since last month's dispersal of two sit-ins set up by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, in which hundreds of protesters were killed by security forces.
Since then, Egypt's military-backed authorities have rounded up hundreds of the group's senior and mid-ranking members, topped by Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and deputies Khairat al-Shater and Rashad Bayoumi.
Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and four other leaders to trial on charges of inciting violence and road-blocking on Thursday.
The case involves beside Badie senior Brotherhood leaders Mohamed al-Beltagi, Essam al-Erian and Bassem Ouda, the former minister of supply.
Badie faces several charges of inciting violence following the July 3 ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi by the army.
Interior Ministry warning to Friday demonstrators
Egypt's Interior Ministry has vowed to firmly confront protests planned by the Muslim Brotherhood on Friday, saying these demonstrations were not licensed by the ministry.
"Security reports indicated that the Muslim Brotherhood had invited its supporters to stage marches in Cairo and Giza following the Friday prayers, without notifying police stations or obtaining security approvals," a ministry statement said Thursday.
The ministry would "deal with these illegal activities and would firmly confront them as outlined by the law," the statement added.Last Mod: 29 Kasım 2013, 09:59