Hamada Saber Ali, a protester who was stripped, beaten, and dragged by Central Security Forces (CSF) on Friday has denied being attacked by CSF.
During investigations conducted on Saturday by the Heliopolis prosecution office at the police hospital where Ali is currently receiving treatment, Ali claimed that protesters attacked and stripped him because they thought he was a CSF member. He explained that he was wearing black clothes similar to the uniforms of CSF members. Ali added that the security forces rescued him from the protesters and transferred him to the hospital.
However, Al-Hayah TV channel broadcast a video on Friday showing CSF stripping, beating, and attacking Ali during Friday’s clashes around Itihadiya presidential palace.
The video provoked anger among several political parties and reactions from the presidency and the Ministry of Interior.
The Ministry of Interior issued a statement on Friday apologising for the incident and asserting that it does not reflect the security forces’ policy, which focuses on protecting citizens and maintaining national security.
Ministry of Interior spokesperson Hany Abdel Lateef said Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim had ordered an investigation of the incident and requested its results quickly, adding that the ministry strongly condemns actions that could affect the relationship between security forces and citizens.
Waleed Nada, an activist working with injured revolutionaries who participated in Friday’s protests, has denounced Ali’s claims. Nada added that Ali was probably threatened by figures from the Ministry of Interior to force him to deny their attack, explaining that the video showed CSF as they beat Ali and dragged him to a CSF vehicle. “Those who appeared in the video cannot be protesters, because they dragged Ali into the CSF vehicle. Would any protester be able to do that?” Nada asked.
Nada claimed that many poor men might issue false statements in exchange for some benefits from the government. “I think this is what happened with Ali,” he added.
The presidency also issued a statement commenting on the incident on Saturday, stating that the video violates human rights stated in the constitution. The presidency also praised the Ministry of Interior’s response to the incident and stated that it would follow the investigation.
The National Salvation Front (NSF), the leading opposition bloc, described the incident as “ugly and shameful”, demanding Minister Ibrahim’s immediate dismissal.
Khaled Dawood, NSF media spokesperson, said security forces have used significantly more violence since Ibrahim was appointed, adding that deaths and injuries among protesters have increased over the past week. He also accused Ibrahim of ordering security forces to use tear gas and birdshot extensively against protesters.
Dawood claimed that the broadcast video is only one example of the way security forces deal with protesters. He added that such actions are predictable following speeches made by leading figures in the presidency and the Muslim Brotherhood, who called on security forces to act decisively against Itihadiya palace protesters and described protesters as “thugs”.
The Free Egyptians Party and Socialist People’s Alliance Party also condemned the incident and demanded Ibrahim’s dismissal.
Freedom and Justice Party head Mohamed Saad El-Katatni praised Ibrahim for his quick response to the incident and called on the ministry to announce the results of investigations quickly.
Ahmed Maher, founder of the 6th of April political movement, said that Friday’s incidents could be the start of Morsy’s fall. Maher said the police actions during Morsy’s rule would lead to his departure as they did for Mubarak, adding that those actions would be added to Morsy’s list of failures in ruling the country.
Sameh Ashour, head of the Lawyers’ Syndicate and a leading figure at NSF, assigned the syndicate’s Freedoms Committee to follow Ali’s case, according to the Al-Ahram newspaper.