Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hundreds arrested after Egyptian security forces disturb Muslim Brotherhood election rallies

Violent clashes have taken place in several places in Egypt on Friday and Saturday between security forces and followers of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hundres were arrested. The clashes, which according to most witnesses were started by the security forces, were particularly severe in Alexandria. The Muslim Brotherhood's website, Ikhwanweb, reported:  

Security forces in Karmooz, Alexandria, attempted to disperse the campaign march of MB MP, Mahmoud Attia of Karmooz constituency; however, their attempt failed and after the march they attacked the MP and his supporters causing serious injuries to three and arresting five including a handicapped person.
Security forces used 12 security vehicles, two fire trucks and a deportation vehicle. Traps were set and there were clusters at street corners to arrest supporters of the MP. Government forces also surrounded the house of MP, Mahmoud Attia.
In other districts security forces used rubber bullets and tear gas against supporters of MB MPs, Sobhi Saleh and al-Mohammady el-Sayed Ahmed. A large number of people were injured. Close to 300 people have been arrested. The security forces smashed shops belonging to MB supporters, who after that attacked the security forces. Clashes continued even after the march had ended.

In Mina el-Basal constituency, security forces pursued the campaigns and marches belonging to MB candidates, Dr Hamdy Hassan and Hussein Ibrahim. They followed the march for three streets then attacked it from behind using tear gas and rubber bullets causing severe injuries among a large number of participants, residents and bystanders. Security forces also arrested a large number of the MP’s supporters including Ibrahim el-Sayed, from the MB executive bureau in Alexandria city.
In el-Dekhela, security forces arrested a number of supporters of Bushra el-Samny, MB candidate who is running for the women quota in Alexandria. Among those arrested is someone who was attending a wedding.

Moreover, 130 supporters of Samery Mansour, MB candidate in the governorate of Sharqeya, witnessed abductions by security forces on Friday. Witnesses saw security forces banning vehicles involved in the rally, and damaging 12 privately owned cars after detaining their owners.
In Beheira, arrests came during clashes that were sparked when security forces tried to break up a gathering of people supporting MB candidates, Ossama Al-Mohamed and Manal Ismail, and three people were arrested.
Security forces in Fayoum abducted 17 supporters of MP Kamal Nur al-Din and candidate Mahmud Faruq after failing to abort the campaigning process in which more than 3000 supporters participated.

The Muslim Brotherhood's website was not the only one which gave details about the clashes. See also Al-Jazeera English and blogster Egyptian Chronicles.

Update: Amnesty International on 20 November called on the Egyptian authorities to ensure that all candidates and voters are not harassed or intimidated by security forces, supporters of the ruling party and others during the country's parliamentary elections on 28 November.
 The warning came amid fresh restrictions by the Egyptian authorities on political opposition activists, clamping down on their freedoms of expression, association and assembly.

No comments: