Last Update 17:8
Friday, 15 November 2019

Police arrests of Salafist 'Hazemoun' condemned

Arrest of two members of Salafist group, 'Hazemoun', for alleged role in attack on liberal Wafd Party HQ on Saturday stirs fears of return to bad old days of arbitrary raids by state security forces

Randa Ali and Osman El Sharnoubi, Wednesday 19 Dec 2012
Photo of Ahmed Arafa circulated on social networking sites.
Views: 2351
Views: 2351

Two members of the 'Hazemoun' movement – supporters of Salafist leader Hazem Abu-Ismail – were detained by police on Tuesday in the wake of Saturday's attack on the liberal Wafd Party headquarters, according Ahmed Samir, a leading member of the movement.

Samir told Al-Ahram's Arabic website that the arrest of Ahmed Arafa and Sherif El-Hosari had almost led to a rash reaction by the movement. However, Abu-Ismail, a disqualified presidential candidate, gave his followers orders not to respond to the arrests.

News of Ahmed Arafa's arrest circulated around social networking sites on Wednesday, claiming he had been "kidnapped" by plainclothes policemen late on Tuesday.

A video posted on a Facebook page used by Abu-Ismail supporters showed Arafa's mother saying that around six people broke into her house at 2am, searched Arafa's bedroom and took him. The video also shows Arafa's ransacked bedroom.

Renowned human rights activist Mona Seif said via Twitter that Arafa was at Cairo's Heliopolis Court accompanied by his lawyer on Wednesday afternoon.

Samir said other groups, such as the Egyptian Popular Current, April 6 and remnants of the Mubarak regime carry out acts of violence that are then falsely attributed to Hazemoun.

Abu-Ismail vehemently denied that his supporters were behind Saturday's attacks on the headquarters on the Wafd Party and the Egyptian Popular Current. The managing editor of the Al-Wafd news website held Hazemoun responsible for the attack, but Abu-Ismail shrugged off the accusation.

The Egyptian Popular Current issued a statement condemning Arafa's arrest and the raid on his house.

"In spite of our clear political differences, we reject any raids or arrests carried out in that way. Our principles are different, but we demand a country based on law," read the statement.

Meanwhile, human rights lawyers Gamal Eid took a swipe at the police via Twitter.

"It would have been better if the president [Mohamed Morsi] had started by reforming the Ministry of Interior, so it wouldn't go back to its criminal methods [which we reject] against Ahmed Arafa or anyone else," said Eid.

The Islamic Renaissance and Reform Movement condemned Arafa's arrest as the return of the "visitors of dawn," a title frequently given to Mubarak-era state security forces known for arbitrarily arresting activists in the middle of the night.

"It is not about Ahmed Arafa or the Hazemoun, it is about state security functioning like the old days," said activist Nawara Negm via Twitter.

A statement issued by the interior ministry on its official Facebook said Arafa had been arrested for the illegal possession of an automatic weapon.

His arrest, according to the statement, was legal and warranted by the prosecution, and was part of a crackdown on illegal possession of firearms.

Information about the second member of Hazemoun to be arrested, Sherif El-Hosari, has not yet been released.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

19-12-2012 11:48pm
Arresting a suspect is normal procedure everywhere
In Europe or wherever Police would also raid the flat of the suspect without prior announcement as he is expected to carry a weapon. in this case we don't talk about political/opposition activist but about one guy that is suspected to have attacked other people violently (a crime punishable by law everywhere)
Comment's Title

© 2010 Ahram Online.