By Essam Fadl
ALEXANDRIA: Security forces arrested four people associated with Salafi group in connection with the New Year’s bomb attack outside Al-Qeddesine (The Church of the Two Saints) that left 23 people dead and over 90 injured.
Sources associated with Salafi groups, who believe in a stricter interpretation of Islam, told Daily News Egypt that police forces detained four on Sunday that are suspected of being involved in the bombing. The sources confirmed that at least 250 Salafis have been detained thus far.
Sources that declined to be identified said that the police widened its campaign against Salafis by arresting people from the homes of families affiliated with the group in Beheira governorate. The detainees were taken to the State Security Office Headquarters in Damanhour.
Judiciary sources told Daily News Egypt that Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud is expected to reveal results of the forensic report concerning the bombing in a couple of days, adding that Mahmoud received the report last Saturday. A specialized committee is investigating the report in the time being.
The National Association for Change (NAC), founded by former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradie, filed a complaint to the Prosecutor General on Monday to investigate the death of a Salafi man named Sayed Belal, who allegedly died in police custody at the Alexandria Security Office.
Belal’s family accused the police of torturing him to death. The NAC delegation —which includes Abdel-Galil Moustafa, media spokesman Al-Sayed Al-Ghadban, and George Ishaq met with Mahmoud’s assistant and submitted a formal complaint.
The complaint called for the prosecution of security forces involved in Belal’s murder and to stop arrests by the state security to Salafi members. The complaint also asked the prosecution to check police stations and detention centers to stop human rights violations committed inside.
The complaint also asked for an investigation of violations committed by Ain Shams University when it prevented a number of its student activists from taking their examinations after they participated in protests in solidarity with the victims of the deadly Al-Qeddesine bombings.
“We completely disagree with the Salafist [ideology] and we refuse [Salafists’] stances on all occasions,” Ishaq told Daily News Egypt. “But we call for [the trial] of whoever tortured Belal, because he is an Egyptian citizen.
“Being suspected in a certain crime requires a fair trial [and] not torture to death by the hands of the police,” Ishaq added.