Socialist Worker

Crackdown on Egyptian activists: prosecutor investigates Revolutionary Socialists, police raid NGOs

Issue No. 2283

State security prosecutors in Egypt are investigating the complaint brought by a leading Muslim Brotherhood lawyer against the Revolutionary Socialists (RS), according to the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice newspaper.

The lawyer, Gamal Tag-al-Din, withdrew the accusation after a storm of criticism from socialists, liberals and prominent figures in the Brotherhood itself. However, the authorities still hold the file, which alleged that the RS was planning to overthrow the state by violent means and named three RS activists Sameh Naguib, Hisham Yosry and Yasser Abd-el-Qawy.

Under Egyptian law the prosecutor is free to start an investigation regardless of the wishes of the person who made the original complaint, if 'state security is threatened'. The newspaper says that “National Security”—Hosni Mubarak’s hated secret police under a new name—are to gather evidence for the prosecutor.

An RS statement issued on 29 December said that the Brotherhood was being used as 'tool of the state' in an assault on revolutionary activists. 'The main actor in this attack is the same security and 'exceptional' judicial apparatus which previously oppressed the Brotherhood,' it continued.

In another sign that the campaign against the RS is part of a wider attempt to clamp down on the ruling military council's critics, riot police stormed the offices of 17 NGOs in Cairo and arrested RS member Ahmed Ali, a researcher in the Budgetary and Human Rights Observatory. Human rights activists slammed the raids in a press conference on Friday, condemning the military council's 'shameful humanitarian violations and failures in managing the transitional phase'.

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