Security forces allegedly broke into the apartment of five political activists who were in Alexandria to attend Hassan Mustafa’s trial, arresting two men.
Mohamed Al-Belbeesy and Mohamed Al-Torky were arrested in a rented apartment on Saturday night. Their friends claim the police broke into the apartment and searched it before taking the two men into custody. Al-Torky was later released.
“The guys made a food order two days before the arrest,” said Mai Abdel Fatah, a political activist and a friend of the two men. She said they gave the apartment’s address while making the order, adding that their phone was tapped.
Abdel Fatah claimed almost thirty police officers raided the apartment. “They specifically asked about Al-Belbeesy and Al-Torky,” Abdel Fatah said. “They then beat the five of them up, tied them up, took photos of them and photocopied their IDs. They also stole money and possessions from the apartment.”
Al-Belbeesy and Al-Torky were taken, blindfolded, to a police car. Al-Torky claimed one of the policemen made a phone call to a man named Waleed and told him: “It’s all done, we have the two men.” The policeman was then told to release Al-Torky and he was thrown out of the car.
Haytham Al-Shawaf, a member of the Revolutionary Movements Alliance, stated that a policeman named Waleed Al-Iraqi is known for his animosity towards Al-Belbeesy and Al-Torky, as well as other activists. Al-Iraqi was accused for his alleged complicity in an attack on political activist Mohanad Samir in Tahrir Square on 31 December 2012.
“Both Al-Belbeesy and Al-Torky are very active on the street,” Al-Shawaf said. “They have been targeted by security forces for a while.”
Initial reports suggested that Al-Belbeesy was in Al-Montazah police station in Alexandria. “We’re still not sure if he’s in Alexandria, or if he was transferred to Cairo,” Abdel Fatah said. “We asked in Cairo and we were told he wasn’t there.”
The first session of Mustafa’s appeal of a court verdict sentencing him to two years in prison was on Saturday. Mustafa is a prominent political activist in Alexandria.
The trial was held at Borg Al-Arab court in Alexandria. A protest was held in solidarity with Mustafa at the Al-Mansheya courthouse. His brother, Mohamed Salem, stated that protesters from Cairo and Damanhour came to attend Mustafa’s trial and protest his detention.
Waleed Al-Iraqi could not be reached for comment.