Egypt’s military prosecution on Sunday launched an investigation against Asmaa
Mahfouz, a 26-year-old activist accused of insulting the ruling Supreme
Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and calling for armed operations
against the military and the judiciary.
Mahfouz was released on LE20,000 bail, said Noor Ayman Nour, an activist with
the No Military Trials for Civilians group, from outside the military
prosecution’s office. Shortly after speaking to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Nour
was detained by military police.
The case against Mahfouz, number 55/2011, accuses the activist of using her
Facebook page to call for assassinations of SCAF members and certain
judges, the state-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported.
“If the judiciary doesn’t give us our rights, nobody should be surprised if
militant groups appear and conduct a series of assassinations because
there is no law and there is no judiciary,” Mahfouz wrote on Facebook,
according to MENA.
General Adel al-Morsy, head of the Military Justice Commission, issued a
statement saying Mahfouz’s Facebook post was not a matter of freedom of
expression, but rather an incitement to violence and an insult to
boththe army and SCAF.
The statement called onthe media and the public to check Mahfouz’s Facebook
account to judgewhether she was giving an opinion or calling for the
formation of armedgroups to conduct assassinations.
Mahfouz’s supporters on the microblogging website Twitter argue that her post
warned of the negative consequences of not trying former regime members
in a serious manner.
Mahfouz wrote on her Twitter account Saturday that she was requested to appear before
the military prosecution. She suggested that she might be under
investigation because of a phone interview she gave to Al-Jazeera on 23
July during clashes between pro-revolution protesters and residents of
Abbasseya, a Cairo neighborhood.
Hundreds of protesters were injured on 23 July during a march to the SCAF
headquarter to urge the ruling council to speed up reforms.
“We are against the corruption of SCAF, which covers for Mubarak and his aides,” Mahfouz told the pan-Arab satellite network.
During the clashes, Mahfouz also told Al-Jazeera that the “army protected the
thugs” by cordoning off the protesters before they were attacked. She
added that the march is to protest against SCAF’s corruption, and their
hesitation in speeding up the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak.
Mubarak’s trial began on 3 August.
The military has previously brought activists in for investigation in
response to public statements on television. In May, activist Hossam
al-Hamalawy was summoned by the military prosecutor due to his on-air
criticism against SCAF. He accused Egypt’s military rulers of attacking
civilian protesters and referring them to military trials.
In April, blogger Maikel Nabil, received a three-year prison sentence by a
military court after he documented various violations by the military
against civilian protesters.
Mahfouz is one of the founders of the April 6 Youth Movement, which has been
singled out by the SCAF for defamation, though she is no longer a part
of the movement. She appeared in a YouTube video in January calling on Egyptians to protest against Mubarak’s regime on 25 January.