State security forces continued its vicious campaign against Muslim Brotherhood activists and sympathizers. Twenty people from all walks of life have been arrested, so far, in another episode of oppression committed by an illegitimate and corrupt regime which has been governing Egypt by iron and fire for more than a quarter of a century.
Today’s chapter of this shameful episode featured Abdel Monem Mahmoud, a young and brilliant member of the Muslim Brotherhood who surrendered to the State Security Prosecutor a day after the State “insecurity” forces stormed his house in Alexandria and threatened to take his family hostage if he does not give himself up.
Confident of his innocence, Mahmoud, decided to turn himself in since he has not committed any crimes. Mahmoud, 26, whose nickname is “Reuter Al Ikhwan” or the “ Brotherhood’s Reuter” is a vibrant member of the Muslim Brotherhood media section, worked as a reporter for many media outlets. Mahmoud is also known for his involvement with several human rights and civil society groups including the National Committee for Defending Opinion Prisoners and the Coordinating Committee to Resist Iraq and Palestine Occupation.
He emerged in the media realm during the popular outcry for reform and constitutional amendment of article 76. An outspoken Mahmoud, he was a staunch critic of police brutality during the latest parliamentary elections and helped uncover many cases of abuse. Mahmoud was detained previously in 2003 for four months after he was accused of aiding in a campaign to defend Iraq.
A Message of Intimidation
Dr. Mohamed el-Sayed Habib, First Deputy of the Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, declared that this escalation is intended as a message of intimidation to the Egyptian people who stood courageously side by side with Muslim Brothers, cast their ballots for them and endured as a result Government repression and brutalities. It is also a message to political forces in general to put an end to their political activism. It is further, Habib added, a message to Muslim Brotherhood members of parliament so as to reduce their pressure and tone down their discussions and motions against the Government in parliament.
Intensive Brotherhood Activity
The activity of Muslim Brothers and their deputies in parliament has clearly intensified recently. It has led the Government to show its real face. That activity included hearings demanded by Brotherhood members over the drowning of the Salam 98 ferry in the Red Sea and the bird flu crisis, with which the Government has dealt in a primitive way. The Brotherhood has organized popular campaigns in all districts and villages to help those who were affected and citizens afraid of the epidemic. In addition, the Brotherhood’s deputies have been preparing themselves for fighting an extension to the Emergency Law that the Government intends to submit to parliament during the current month. They also envisage to submit a draft law to prevent the imprisonment of journalists for publication of their views, since the President has not fulfilled his promise two years ago to issue the requested law. In addition, they will also submit a draft law on the Judiciary independence that was adopted by Judges’ Club (the association of judges).
Dr. Abdel-Hameed el-Ghazali, professor of economics at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, says: “we believed that the regime had come back to its senses following the liberalization and democracy campaigns throughout the world, including our own region, the latest such lesson in democracy being that given by the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas”. Unfortunately, a number of the best Muslim brothers have been arrested, including notably professor Dr. Rashad El-Bayoumi, under the pretext that they formed the Free Students’ Union, held organizational meetings for a banned group and received funds from abroad for the activities of the Brotherhood. The Government has resorted to this conduct despite the smooth, faithful and right conduct of the Brotherhood with regard to participation in public affairs.
He further added that such practices point out to the confusion of the regime and its lack of any clear vision as regards the vital forces of society.