Egypt’s Interior Ministry has arrested 22 members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group for trying to incite protests and provoke public opinion by spreading false news.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Ministry said the accused exploited the assault against student Mahmoud al-Banna and his death in Menoufia governorate to spread false news and rumors to provoke chaos and confusion against the state.
“The National Security Apparatus monitored an attempt of the outlawed group to exploit Banna’s case to spread chaos among citizens and mobilize them against the state,” the Ministry added.
“White and sonic weapons, labels, and sprays were confiscated,” the Ministry noted.
According to the ministry, the suspects intended to spread chaos, block roads, and disrupt traffic in front of the court during the trial session for defendants in Banna’s case in the city of Shebeen El Kom, Menoufia on Sunday.
Legal proceedings have been taken and the Supreme State Security Prosecution has started its probe.
According to video confessions, published by the Interior ministry, a number of defendants confessed attempting to cause confusion against the Egyptian government, taking advantage of Banna’s case.
They also admitted taking orders from MB leaders to take advantage of the case, which is currently under consideration by the judiciary.
Banna’s case, or “the martyr of magnanimity,” has become recently an issue of public opinion in Egypt.
People are resorting to social media to denounce his killing, demanding “the execution” of his assailants.
Egypt’s Prosecutor General referred four people to an urgent criminal trial over charges of Banna’s intentional killing.
The incident dates back to October 9, when the offenders obstructed Banna, 17, while he was walking in the street.
The victim had previously confronted main defendant in the case, Mohamed Ragih, for harassing his female neighbor.
Banna fled from the offenders but was later caught. One of the offenders used pepper spray, and Ragih then stabbed him in the cheek and thigh, leaving him bleeding to death.