Egypt to Try Activists for Violent Protest

Egypt to Try Activists for Violent Protest

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Two prominent Egyptian activists will stand trial on Sunday for allegedly taking part in a violent and unauthorized protest under a disputed new law, judicial sources said.

The two, Ahmed Maher and Ahmed Douma, were arrested after Maher's supporters allegedly scuffled with policemen outside a Cairo court, as Maher handed himself in for questioning on suspicion he had organized an illegal protest.

A third activist would be tried in absentia, the judicial sources said on Thursday.

The activists are charged with assaulting police officers at an illegal protest, AFP reported.

Both Maher and Douma were leading dissidents under toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak, and supported the military's overthrow of president Mohamed Mursi in July.

But the passage of a law that bans all but police-authorized protests has angered secular activists who had viewed the military-installed government as a lesser evil compared with Mursi.

Secular activists and rights groups see these arrests as widening of a crackdown on protests by the government, which until now had been targeting supporters of Mursi.

The crackdown against Mursi's supporters has left more than 1 000 people killed in recent months and thousands more, mostly Islamists, arrested.


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