Prosecutor General Tala’at Abdallah asked the Ministry of Interior to expedite the process of carrying out an arrest warrant against members of the Black Bloc he had issued earlier, a prosecution spokesperson said on Thursday.
“The prosecutor general’s office sent an official request to the Ministry of Interior to carry out his arrest warrant for elements of the destructive Black Bloc organisation for their role in acts of vandalism on the second anniversary of the 25 January revolution,” the public prosecution’s acting spokesperson Mahmoud Al-Hefnawy said in a Thursday statement.
He added that Abdallah’s issuing of an arrest warrant for 22 people on Wednesday was based on investigations conducted by the Homeland Security sector that pointed to these individuals being the founders and financers of the group.
The prosecution charged them with founding a group aiming to commit crimes or acts of terror, violence, theft, premeditated murder, armed robbery, vandalism of public or private property, and disturbing the peace.
Al-Hefnawy said the names of the 22 wanted individuals would not be publicised so that they would not be able to flee prosecution. Abdallah had issued arrest warrants for five individuals in March, also charged with founding the group.
The Black Bloc, alongside a new group calling itself “The Hooligans” called for protests against President Mohamed Morsi on Friday in order to “end his rule”.
The calls, made on social media, encouraged participants to protest in front of the Itihadiya presidential palace and the Muslim Brotherhood’s main headquarters in the Moqattam neighbourhood of Cairo, as well as at local branches of the Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, all over the country.
The Muslim Brotherhood in turn is organising protests on Friday calling for the “purification of the judiciary” which they blame for the acquittal and release of several former regime members and suspension of elections.
Black Bloc is a protest technique adopted by anarchist groups and other protesters in Europe in the 1970s and to a lesser extent in the United States in the 1990s.
It is based on the protection of other protesters through engaging the police or other riot squads and does not adhere to non-violent methods. Black Bloc groups have been known to damage property as a way to protest capitalism.
An Egyptian version emerged on the political scene earlier this year. Black Bloc members are dressed in black clothes and don black balaclavas in order to hide their identities.