• August 3, 2013
  • 4 minutes read

Eye On Torture: Black Bloc Admits Involvement in Attack on July 26 Protests

Eye On Torture: Black Bloc Admits Involvement in Attack on July 26 Protests

Rights group Eye On Torture (EOT) has published eyewitness testimonies on the Nasr Road clashes, in Cairo Friday, July 26 which continued beyond dawn on Saturday, July 27, between pro-legitimacy, pro-Morsi demonstrators and security forces.

According to an EOT report, the incident started when some pro-legitimacy, pro-democracy protesters began pitching tents in Nasr Road, in front of the Unknown Soldier monument, to extend the area of ​​Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in due to increasing numbers of protesters in the square.

However, security forces prevented them from pitching tents, and the clashes erupted between the two sides. First, security forces fired tear gas canisters at the gathering crowds. In response, demonstrators pelted them with stones.

Eyewitnesses said they heard the sound of heavy gunfire and birdshots in the region during the clashes. Yusuf Ali, nicknamed ‘Joe the Legend’ – the prime suspect in the case against the notoriously violent Black Bloc group, said in his testimony to EOT about the events of the Unknown Soldier monument, "Some Black Bloc members set upon the Brothers and their supporters and pushed them back towards the podium and the monument, then fired at them birdshots and then live bullets.

Joe added, "[Ministry of] Interior forces protected Black Bloc members, who were hiding behind armored vehicles and within Al-Azhar university buildings, while the Muslim Brothers and their supporters were exposed. So, many of them were injured.

"Then, a massacre lasting some 61 minutes followed, with automatic weapons. I personally saw more than 51 protesters killed and a large number – perhaps four thousand – injured."

Anas Al-Assal, one of the coordinators of the EOT campaign, said: "Some men in civilian clothes were with the police, carrying tear gas bombs, which they shot out at protesters coming from the October Bridge.

"Armored police vehicles were driven at speed into demonstrators and crashed into some of them. Forces continued firing live bullets and tear gas bombs at demonstrators. Due to the large number of injured demonstrators, many were moved to Syed Jalal, Al-Hussein and the Health Insurance hospitals."

Hassan Mahmoud, a member of the ‘popular committees’ protecting the sit-in site, said: "The main stage announced the launch of a march to demand reinstatement of legitimacy headed towards the Ministry of Defense and the National Security headquarters. That march blocked the October Bridge, obstructing the movement of vehicles there.

"Security forces brought on two armored vehicles accompanied by dozens of Central Security Service soldiers to force the road open. They fired gas canisters at the demonstrators, forcing them to retreat.

"Another rally went out to help the march protesters, but was confronted by security forces armed with pistols and shotguns. During the clashes, the police arrested dozens of protesters, Rabaa Al-Adaweya demonstrators held several Black Bloc members who had been helping security forces against them.