Egyptian freed in case that raises fears for democracy

By REUTERS
March 26, 2013 20:50

CAIRO - A prominent Egyptian political activist accused of inciting violence against President Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood was released without bail on Tuesday after he turned himself in for questioning, the prosecutor general's office said.

Alaa Abd El-Fattah, a blogger who became a symbol of the uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak in 2011, was among five activists the prosecutor general ordered on Monday be arrested - a step the opposition decried as a reversal for democracy.

Abd El-Fattah said on his Twitter feed after questioning: "In general, I refused to answer all the questions because the prosecutor general is not neutral."

"There are no witnesses, no investigations, no facts, nothing," he said.

The arrest orders seemed certain to deepen mistrust in an already polarized political landscape, further complicating Morsi's efforts to build bridges with his opponents before parliamentary polls which they threatened to boycott.

The other four activists Ahmed Douma, Karim al-Shaer, Hazem Abdel Azeem and Ahmed al-Sahafi still face arrest orders but refused to show up at the prosecutor general's office, their lawyer, Tamer Gomaa, told Reuters.


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