Egyptian Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdallah on Tuesday ordered the arrest of all members of the anti-state ‘Black Bloc’ group, which has made its appearance in recent anti-government demonstrations and disrupted traffic and Cairo’s Metro line.
Abdallah directed police and Egypt’s armed forces to arrest anyone suspected of being affiliated with the group. He also urged citizens to provide any information they have about the group or its members and assist in their arrest by authorities.
Charges were brought against the group by lawyer Khaled El-Masry, who accused it of inciting chaos across the country and torching the office of the Muslim Brotherhood’s website (ikhwanonline) and several pharmacies.
El-Masry’s lawsuit also accuses a handful of prominent opposition personalities with involvement in the group’s establishment. These include former presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi, his presidential campaign coordinator Sherif Ashraf, Tahrir television channel owner Soliman Amer, and television presenter Dina Abdel-Fattah.
On Tuesday, Abdallah formally launched an investigation into the allegations.
Hussein Yassin, spokesman for Egypt’s public prosecution, told state news agency MENA that investigations had revealed the Black Bloc to be an “organised, terrorist group.”
“Sabotage, rioting and intimidation of citizens by the group makes it subject to penalty under Egypt’s penal code,” added Yassin
According to the public prosecution, withholding information about the group, promoting the group’s image, or even dressing like its members could all result in legal penalties, as the Black Bloc’s recent activities serve to “endanger the state’s internal security.”
The group made its first public appearance last week during nationwide anti-government rallies marking the Tahrir Square uprising’s second anniversary.
Note: Black Bloc is a tactic in which protesters, mainly anarchists and autonomists, dress in black and conceal their identities to avoid state repression, confuse cops targeting individuals and to promote solidarity. Regardless of what the media say’s, black bloc is not a group. It’s evident that Egypt’s government is scared of the tactic because of it’s effectiveness and is trying to discourage militants from using it. Solidarity with the Egyptian anarchists!