Conflict & Justice

Egypt prosecutor orders arrest of five political activists


Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood group try to extinguish fire on one of their comrades who he was hit by a molotov cocktail thrown by protesters during clashes in the street that leads to the headquarters of the organization in Cairo on March 22, 2013.



Egypt's top prosecutor ordered the arrest of five leading political activists following clashes near the Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters last week.

The five activists, who are also banned from traveling abroad, are Alaa Abdel-Fattah, Ahmed Douma, Karim El-Shaer, Hazem Abdel-Azim and Ahmed Ghoneimi.

The prosecutor also issued a summons for questioning of a sixth activist, Nawara Negm, the daughter of Egypt's best-known satirical poet.

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The activists' arrests come a day after President Mohamed Morsi warned he would take steps to "protect the nation" and said "necessary measures" would be taken against politicians who were involved in violence.

Abdel-Fattah told the Associated Press minutes after news of the warrants broke that he was consulting with his lawyers on what to do next. He is described as a leading blogger who played a role in the protests eventually overthrew President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Activists fought Morsi supporters and police guarding the Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters in Cairo last Friday. More than 100 people were injured in the clashes, and riot police used tear gas to keep opposing sides apart.

The violence is thought to have severed the possibility of a dialogue between the two sides.