Egypt prosecutor orders activists arrested

Egypt’s prosecutor general has ordered the arrest of five prominent political activists pending an investigation into claims they had incited the recent violence near the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters, a statement from the prosecutor said.

Those ordered arrested included Alaa Abd El-Fattah, a leading blogger who played a role in the protests that led to the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The five were also banned from travel.

They were accused of inciting ‘aggression against people, the destruction of property and disturbing civil peace in the events that erupted during the protest in front of the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters’, the statement said.

At least 130 people were hospitalized after the violence near the Muslim Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters on Friday 22 March.

The prosecutor general’s move follows a threat by President Mohamed Morsi to take measures to protect the nation. Morsi said ‘necessary measures’ would be taken against any politicians found to be involved in the violence.

The recent protest was the latest in a series of violent demonstrations targeting Morsi and the Brotherhood, the Islamist group that propelled him to power in last June’s election. The two sides blamed each other for the fighting.