News / Middle East

    Egypt Accuses Leading Activists of Inciting Protests

    Tear gas fired by riot police at protesters fill the air during clashes at Talaat Harab square in downtown Cairo, Nov. 26, 2013.
    Tear gas fired by riot police at protesters fill the air during clashes at Talaat Harab square in downtown Cairo, Nov. 26, 2013.
    VOA News
    Egypt's prosecutor general has ordered the arrest of two prominent activists, saying they incited protests against a new law banning demonstrations without prior approval.

    Wednesday's order involves Ahmed Maher and Alaa Abdel Fattah, and comes a day after authorities detained 24 other activists for taking part in the protests in Cairo.

    Police used water cannons to break up two small demonstrations outside the parliament building.

    The Islamist Muslim brotherhood criticized the security forces, saying the forceful dispersals are reminiscent of tactics employed under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak.

    A spokesman for the Brotherhood's political wing said in a statement on Wednesday that security forces were acting with a level of impunity that recalls the "tyranny and violation of freedoms and rights" seen under Mubarak's autocratic rule.

    The Brotherhood called the new law "draconian" and said it is meant to silence any opposition.

    Late Tuesday, hundreds of protesters defied the law and earlier police response, gathering in the same area of downtown Cairo to once again voice their complaints.

    After Tuesday's arrests, 10 members of a panel appointed to draft Egypt's new constitution suspended their work in protest.

    Also on Tuesday, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on Egypt's interim government to amend or appeal the law, warning that it could lead to "serious breaches of the right to freedom of assembly."

    Pillay said she is particularly concerned about the way the law describes the use of violence by security forces in response to protests. She says it could create a situation where violent behavior by a few protesters could draw an excessive reaction that puts the lives of peaceful demonstrators at risk.

    Egyptian authorities have been cracking down on the opposition, particularly the Islamist Brotherhood, since the military ousted president Mohamed Morsi in July. Security forces have arrested much of the Brotherhood's top leadership and clashed with those demonstrating against the interim government. More than 1,000 people, mostly Islamists, have been killed in the fighting.

    Morsi is being held by the authorities awaiting the January 8 resumption of his trial on charges of inciting murder and violence during clashes outside the presidential palace last December.

    The Muslim Brotherhood has continually demanded that Morsi be reinstated as president.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: ali baba from: new york
    November 27, 2013 9:42 AM
    The Gov. action is appropriate. the country need to be stable . the country need a time to put everything under control . the country has a serious problem that was created by Muslim brotherhood. thugs in the street terrorist in Siena. Muslim brotherhood receive billion of dollar and use that money to destabilize the country .Arrest activist is appropriate because this is not the time for their nonsense
    In Response

    by: Dr. Salman Khan from: USA
    November 27, 2013 10:07 AM
    hey Ali, you forgot to mention that the Egyptian MB is sponsored by Iran... Iran - who has just been awarded a huge amount of money by Obama to incite more terrorist activities in Egypt. However, I agree with Dr. Hollenbrook here, the sunna Governments of the Middle East should recognize the vital importance of Israel and stop their idiotic calumnies of their powerful neighbor - especially now, when their future survival is at stake from the filth of Iran.

    by: Dr Hollenbrook from: UK
    November 27, 2013 8:00 AM
    I guess it must take a while for the Arabs to understand that the only country in the world they can rely on to save their lives from the depredations of Iran is the country they have been vilifying for decades... but than, I learned never to underestimate Arab capacity for sheer stupidity...

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora