Twenty-two suspected Muslim Brotherhood members were apprehended over charges of spreading chaos and circulating false news, state-run newspaper Al-Ahram cited the Interior Ministry as stating on Tuesday.
The suspects are accused of incitement against the state through publishing “false news and rumours,” to stir up the feelings of the citizens,” over the case of the killing of an 18-year-old student Mahmoud Al-Banna, in Menofia Governorate.
“The National Security Apparatus monitored an attempt of the outlawed group to exploit Al-Banna’s case to spread chaos among the citizens and mobilise them against the state,” the ministry added.
White and sonic weapons, labels, and sprays were confiscated, the ministry continued.
According to the ministry, the suspects intended to spread chaos, block roads, and disrupt traffic in front of the court session of Al-Banna’s case in the city of Shebeen El-Kom, Monufia on Sunday.
Al-Banna’s case, or “the martyr of magnanimity,” has become recently an issue of public opinion in Egypt. Users took to social media to denounce the killing of Al-Banna, demanding “the execution” of his assailants.
Egypt’s Prosecutor General referred four people to an urgent criminal trial over charges of intentional killing of Al-Banna. According to prosecution investigations, it started “when Al-Banna resented the behaviour of the suspect Mohamed Rageh towards a girl, and published posts on Instagram criticising them”. Regeh, enraged with the posts, sent threating messages to Al-Banna and agreed with a number of his friends to kill him, investigations revealed.
The first juvenile criminal court trial of the case was held on Sunday and Judges postponed it to 27 October.
A hashtag dubbed “execute Rageh”, who did not turn 18 yet according to his lawyer, went viral on Twitter. However, Al-Banna’s family lawyer, Nidal Mandour, said in televised statements on Sunday that the defendant Rageh might be above 18, which means that he could be punished with a life sentence, execution, or rigorous imprisonment.