- Human RightsMB NewsPrisoners of Conscience
- October 13, 2007
- 5 minutes read
Egyptian Security Forces Detain Dozens, Storm Houses in Clashes
In a sudden and unjustified escalation, Egyptian security forces blockaded and raided Essalhia Al-Qadima, a village in the Nile Delta governorate of Sharquiya, arresting dozens and storming into houses.
Kamal Saleh, a source who was at the scene, told Ikhwanweb that myriads of central security soldiers arrived in Essalhia region yesterday evening to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group from holding Eid Al Fitr feast prayer. “The Muslim Brotherhood holds the feast prayer in the so called open air squares, places which can include huge numbers of worshippers. It is an Islamic tradition which is followed by so most Muslims”.
The source- an official at the office of Dr. Farid Ismail, a member of parliament for the MB parliamentary bloc-added that dozens of central security soldiers attempted to prevent the MB members from holding the feast prayer by throwing water in the place of prayer to make them inappropriate for prayer” . ” MB young men tried to prevent this but the soldiers attacked them and called for other soldiers to bring to 12 the number of soldiers-laden big armoured central security trucks and 6 medium sized trucks” said Kamal Saleh.
The security tried to impose a big cordon to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood members from completing the feast prayers in the open air square in Essalhia region. As citizens were flocking to the prayer place, the Muslim Brotherhood activists were stunned by a security blockade around the prayer place where these security forces detained 200 to 300 persons.
Kamal Saleh:” However, people”s continuous flooding to the prayer places made the security forces attempt to prevent them forcefully. This led to huge clashes between citizens and the security forces”.
The security forces started with throwing hundreds of sound bombs, tear bombs and smoke bombs leading to choking up to 140 citizens.
After that, the security forces stormed into the village in a horrible way. Their throwing smoke bombs and tear bombs set ablaze about twenty houses. The security forces stormed also houses of dozens of Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Essalhia and houses of other residents. They were breaking entrances of houses and arresting every one inside them.
“These random raids against houses obliged residents to leave Essalhia region to other regions and to go to mountains near the region to escape detentions”.
The security forces sealed off the village with myriads of big sized armored security vehicles after calling for more vehicles from other areas in Sharqiya Governorate. The village turned into a military barracks and a region in which fires are everywhere without any effort to extinguish them, in addition to the random detentions, said Saleh.
The security forces even sealed off the road surrounding the region, a highway taking passengers to three main governorates in Egypt, Ismailia, Suez and Port Said.
A security force in the village went to the mosque neighboring the open air area where the feast prayer was scheduled to be held, and they broke into it in an inhumane and unjustified manner, said our sources.
The security forces entered the mosque and demolished it fiercely and then entered other places in the mosque like the library, a place for women”s prayer and places for the ablution and completely reduced them to rubble.
So far, 90 of Essalhia residents have been detained, including top MB leaders, top activists and ordinary laymen and children.
It”s worth mentioning that the Muslim Brotherhood in the governorate organized a huge Iftar (breaking of the fasting) in Ramadan attended by 1000 citizens and Dr. Farid Ismail, an MP for Fakous constituency and a member of the parliamentary bloc, delivered a speech. Although the security services tried to prevent it but people”s insistence on attending this party led to managing to hold it.
Dr. Mohamed Habib, the first deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, voiced his extreme dissatisfaction towards this unfair policy of detaining citizens and storming into their houses. ” This isn’t an appropriate way through which the security services deal with people. They have acted inappropriately” said Habib.
Mohamed Habib added that the security forces should have dealt tolerantly and peacefully with people, instead of using the security grip.
The MB first deputy chairman said that the Muslim Brotherhood rejects any repercussion in front of this security treatment. The group rather uses peaceful and legal methods to restore people”s rights.
It is worth mentioning that Egyptian authorities have repeatedly attempted to prevent holding Al-Fitr feast prayer in open air areas after the Muslim Brotherhood has garnered a fifth of the People”s Assembly seats in 2005 elections.
The Muslim Brotherhood is continuously repressed by Egyptian authorities that have detained the MB second deputy chairman, engineer Khairat Al-Shater, who has been referred along with 25 MB top leaders to a military tribunal.