Liberal party fears prosecutor's decision will encourage Islamist militias

Monday, March 11, 2013 12:11 PM 
Two Egyptian hardline Salafists clash with a Coptic Christian man (front L) outside the courthouse in Cairo in this October 14, 2012 file photo, after the trial of Ahmed Mohamed Abdullah, known as Abu Islam -Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Files

Wafd Party spokesman, Abdullah al-Moghazy, said on Sunday that granting citizens the right to arrest suspects gives a political cover to Islamist militias who have a history of violence.

Moghazy explained in an aired interview yesterday that as a law expert he considers the prosecution's decision a violation of the constitution and the criminal code.

Egypt’s general prosecutor said on Sunday that vandalism of public or private property, blocking roads, disrupting public transportation, spreading terror among citizens or preventing employees from entering their offices are all flagrant violations of the law that allow for arrest without a court order.

The prosecution statement on Sunday called on police officers and army forces to carry on their duties, according to the law, and immediately arrest outlaws who are caught in the act and refer them to the authorities - without warrants or court orders.

Describing it as a "national duty", it also encouraged citizens to practice their constitutional right to catch criminals who are caught in the act and refer them to the authorities or at least report their crimes.

Moghazy explained that the prosecutor's call will lead to a civil war and allow for street battles under the excuse of restoring security.

Meanwhile, secretary general of the Salafi (ultraconservative) Nour Party, Mostafa Amin, said on Saturday that his party received orders from the president's office to form community patrols to secure public installations.

Similarly, the fundamentalist Gamaa Islamiya had also called for forming community patrols to maintain security in light of the ongoing police strikes in Cairo and other locations.

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