CAIRO: Five supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) were attacked by security forces in Alexandria late Monday while hanging posters of MB-affiliated independent candidate Mahmoud Attia, the group said.
“A low ranking police officer in uniform held a sword in his right hand and a stick in his left hand and attacked the supporters [alongside] other police officers,” Attia told Daily News Egypt, quoting his supporters. “When the people saw the ‘violent’ scene, [onlookers] gathered around, so one of the police officers shot two shots in the air [to disperse the crowd].”
Two of the supporters were taken to the hospital after they were brutally beaten by police.
“One of them was beaten on the head and the other’s leg was broken,” said Attia.
“I stayed up with them all night until they were released late Monday night,” Attia stated. “[The MB] prefers not to announce [the victims’] names for their own safety and protection.”
Ahmed Omar, one of the supporters who was allegedly beaten by police, was arrested along with Ayman Awad and Ammar Ashour, according to Attia.
They were charged with campaigning for a candidate before the official timeframe set by the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC), according to Khalaff Bayoumi, the group’s lawyer in Alexandria.
The defendants were released on Tuesday afternoon after the prosecution found that the charges against them were false.
“We filed a complaint against the head of the investigations department of Karmooz Police station, Ahmed Moselhi, for firing his gun without any justification,” Bayoumi told Daily News Egypt.
The SEC passed Resolution no. 58 of 2010, which defines the official campaign period as starting on the day that final candidates are officially announced, on Nov. 12–14, until the day before the elections (Nov. 27).
Attia denounced the fact that there are posters of National Democratic Party (NDP) candidates all around Alexandria, while posters of the MB are being torn down.
“There are untouched posters of [NDP candidate] Mohammed Moselhi everywhere between [Bab] Sharqi police station and the sporting club in Alexandria,” said Attia. “Whenever [the MB] puts up posters — even if they’re just for [customary seasonal greetings] — they get torn down [by security forces].”
The Security Directorate in Alexandria could not be reached for comment before press time.
Candidates of the MB, which is officially a banned group under Egyptian law, typically run in parliamentary elections as independents. In 2005, the MB won 88 seats — almost 20 percent of the 444 seats. This year the group said it’ll be contesting 30 percent of the seats.
“It’s obvious that the NDP wants to have elections between its members only, while eliminating all the opposition,” MB parliamentary bloc spokesman Hamdy Hassan told Daily News Egypt.