Egypt blogger publishes MB families testimonies of state abuse, terror

Egypt blogger publishes MB families testimonies of state abuse, terror

The From Mahalla to Cairo blog highlighted the testimonies of the families of the recently detained members of the Muslim Brotherhood, saying that at the time both Parliamentary  and Shura Councilele ctions are approaching and after the return of Mohammed ElBaradei to Egypt, “and the political controversy that was raised along with the establishment of the National Assembly for Change, the State Security launched a fierce and expanded crackdown against members and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in several governorates.”

The blog added that “in what was seen by some analysts as as an attempt by the regime to scale [back] the gains of the Muslim Brotherhood in the coming parliamentary elections, especially after the group announced its intention to run for parliamentary elections in two months,” the crackdown has visited the families of members of the banned group.

The blog reported that the number of the detainees of the Muslim Brotherhood in detention, including those who were put to military trial, before the start of this recent crackdown in late March, was nearly 368 members, including 148 members in custody awaiting cases and 220 detainees being held under the emergency law, “which the government plans to extend for a while.”

The recent arrests were accompanied by serious security abuses by the State Security Officers during the arrest of members of the Brotherhood, the blogger reported, “such as terrorizing women and children, beating and saying offensive words, stealing money and jewelry.”

The editor of the blog met with the families of Magdy and Abdul Hafeez, where they gave testimonials on the “dreadfully frightening” moments they experienced.

According to the blog, Mrs. Affaf Youssef Ghoneim, the wife of detained engineer Abdul Hafeez Ismail, said that a force from the SS came and broke into their home on March 30 at 2 am and around 20 persons searched their flat in a “very random way and confiscated the engineer’s computer, along with a number of books and papers and broke into the bedroom and caused a mess inside it.” She said that it was not the first time for her husband to be detained, as he was arrested in 2005 during the protests over constitutional amendments.

Ghoneim said that if her husband was detained just because he was protesting against what is happening to al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, then she is “honored that her husband is arrested for this reason.”

The family of Engineer Magdy who was married one-month before his arrest, the Blogger found that his family, especially his wife, was “in a panic about what was happening.” The wife said she was surprised at the arrest. According to her statement, she and her husband early the same morning were sleeping, and then a force broke into their bedroom, where they grabbed her husband and asked him to change his clothes. When he did, she started crying, the blog reported.

“Then one of the 15 persons of the force insulted her, then they confiscated the computer and educational CDs of her children. When the wife tried to stop them, they took her full face veil off and insulted her with offensive words and the children were scared, as there were about 15 armed men with machine guns besieging the house,” he wrote.

The wife called on all human rights organizations to stand by her husband and support the rest of the detainees.

Human rights activist Mohammed Abdul Aziz, a lawyer at Al Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of torture and violence, commented on the recent wave of arrests against members of the Muslim Brotherhood, saying that the arrests were first “not linked to the arrival of ElBaradei as they relate to the presence of Mubarak’s rule and the next period will witness a scale arrests against other segments of political forces that do not belong to the Islamic trend, as it would be a message of threats for any movement trying to change the political map in Egypt.”

He added that on the use of the emergency laws to arrest activists, saying that “administrative detention is harsher than under investigation under the authority of the state security prosecutor that prosecutors are subject to judicial control, as the administrative detention authority is given to the Ministry of Interior, which fails in implementing the provisions of the release and issues new decisions to detain them.”

It should be noted that the Brotherhood has issued a statement condemning the “excesses of state security officers” in what the group said was a violation of the sanctity of private homes, terrorizing women and children