These cases come on the heels of prosecution of many other local journalists and prominent opposition activists in what critics of the Muslim Brotherhood-backed president, Mohamed Morsi, say seems to be a politically motivated campaign against the president's critics by his handpicked public prosecutor.
Activists say the incidents are further eroding trust in the public prosecutor's position, already low because Morsi appointed the prosecutor himself in a controversial November decree bypassing the constitutional process.
“We have a big problem with the public prosecutor. He's not independent,” says Ahmed Ezzat, a lawyer who is an activist for freedom of expression and attended Qandil's questioning today. He says the types of cases he is pursuing show where his priorities lie. Complaints of police torture and violence committed by the president's supporters do not seem to be pursued with the same vigor as cases against the president's opponents.
The US has been criticized by many Egyptians for not coming down hard enough on the new government for human and civil rights violations, but this string of events seems to have generated concern.