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Al-Beltagy, Hegazy on trial for 2011 torture case

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Influential Islamist leaders accused of torture in Tahrir Square

Mohamed Al-Beltagy, supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Freedom and Justice Party, controversial conservative preacher Safwat Hegazy and several other defendants will resume a trial today at the Cairo Criminal Court in Tora Prison for a torture case that relates back to 2011.

According to state-run Al-Ahram, the accusations stem from a 3 February 2011 incident in Tahrir Square—during the time of the 25 January Revolution—in which Al-Beltagy and Hegazy allegedly abducted a citizen whom they accused of being a police officer. The man who was kidnapped was taken into a tourism company office on the ground floor of the square and tortured.

The man kidnapped, whom Al-Ahram claims is a lawyer with no connection to security forces, was allegedly stripped of his clothes, beaten, sodomised, and tortured with electric shock while Hagazy held him down with his foot on his head.

The accuser claims he was joining the protesters in Tahrir Square when he was stopped at one of the entrances, where he was apprehended and accused of being an infiltrator or police officer.

According to Al-Ahram, the owner of the travel company has pictures that match the description of the accuser, and the state forensic medical said that the accuser had wounds that matched his account of the incident.

Khaled Badawy, attorney for the defendants, told the Daily News Egypt that he has not yet been allowed to see the file of evidence for his case, but maintains his clients’ innocence.

Al-Beltagy and Hegazy are being tried in separate hearings in which they are accused of kidnapping, torture and attempted murder of Heliopolis police officer Mohamed Farouk and policeman Hani Eid. The trial has faced repeated delays.

The prosecutor general’s office could not be reached for comment.

About the author

Aaron T. Rose

Aaron T. Rose is an American journalist in Cairo. Follow him on Twitter: @Aaron_T_Rose


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