Egypt’s ruling generals have referred complaints against 12 prominent critics of their rule to military prosecutors for investigation.
The move marks an escalation in the military’s campaign against revolutionaries.
The activists now potentially face trial in military court. Among them is Sameh Naguib, a leading Revolutionary Socialist activist.
Others include well-known activist Asmaa Mahfouz and Wael Ghonim, founder of the “We are all Khaled Said” Facebook page. Blogger Nawara Negm and journalists Yosri Fouda and Reem Magid also face trial.
Alaa al-Aswany, author of The Yacoubian Building, is also on the list, as are prospective presidential candidate Bothaina Kamel and MPs Ziad el-Eleimy and Abul-Ezz al-Hariry.
Mamdouh Hamza and George Ishak, activists who played a key role in mobilising protests against dictator Hosni Mubarak before the revolution, could face trial too.
Haitham Muhammadain, a leading activist in the Revolutionary Socialists, told Socialist Worker, “This is part of an aggressive campaign being waged against us by the military council.
“The Revolutionary Socialists were accused of setting the Ministry of the Interior on fire last November, and of burning down the Science Academy during the clashes at the Cabinet Office in December.
“At the same time as this case was referred to the military prosecutor, we faced a systematic campaign of arrests across several governorates.
“They want to put pressure on us. At any time they could issue a severe sentence against Sameh Naguib.”
These latest developments form part of a wider attack on the revolutionary movement, he added.
“They have run a smear campaign against the 6 April youth movement and organised the massacre in Port Said.
“A large number of young activists have been sentenced by military courts.”
Independent union activists and workers’ leaders have recently faced similar attacks.
“The most important of these was the torture of leaders of the port workers’ strike at Dubai World in Ain Sokhna,” said Haitham.
“The Cigarette Workers’ Union was also accused of receiving funds from abroad.”
International solidarity with the activists will be critical.