CAIRO: The four university students affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood that disappeared in Alexandria are now facing charges of belonging to a terrorist cell.
Their lawyer claims they were tortured.
“All the students were tortured, they were electrocuted for three days in Istekbal prison in Tora, Khalaf Ahmed Bayoumi, the student’s lawyer, told Daily News Egypt.
Six Muslim Brotherhood members were reportedly arrested without charge by state security on July 18 and four of them have since completely disappeared.
The State Security Prosecutor accused the four students of belonging to a “jihadist cell allegedly linked to Al Qaeda. Syrian and Libyan men were arrested early August on charges of belonging to the same cell.
“After the students were arrested on July 18, they stayed in state security for 10 days and then they moved them to Istekbal prison in Tora; and there the torturing began, Bayoumi said.
“The four students appeared Wednesday in state security and they refused to talk to anyone without the presence of their lawyer, he added.
Members of the cell face charges of professing an extremist ideology advocating the declaration of the ruler as an apostate, legitimizing the overthrow of the Egyptian regime and waging a holy war against it for not implementing Islamic Sharia.
Investigations also found that Libyan Adel Farag El Ramli promoted his ideology among Brotherhood circles with the aim of opening communication channels with young cadres by attending the group’s meetings.
However, Bayoumi noted that a state security officer said that all the investigations point to the fact that they are Brotherhood activists. The same officer reportedly said the only connection between them and El Ramli is that he is the cousin of Mohamed Mohamed Aassem, one of the detained students. “There is no evidence that they have an extremist ideology, said Bayoumi.
Hamdy Hassan, a Member of Parliament affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, agrees. “All these accusations are false. Al-Qaeda became the pretext for putting Brotherhood students behind bars, they didn’t even tell their parents or lawyer their whereabouts. What happened is worse than the emergency law.
The students’ detainment will be renewed for 15 days.
Their lawyer said that when he saw them, there were no signs of torture because the last time they were subject to abuse was weeks ago.
“We filed an official complaint concerning the torture incident and the case will be discussed on Sept. 5, said Bayoumi.