Mohamed El-Beltagy, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood and former MP, has accused Hamada Saber, a protester who was beaten and stripped by security forces in an attack that was captured on video, of lying about the attack.
Saber, who was beaten and dragged naked by police officers after a demonstration at the presidential palace in Cairo on 1 February turned violent, initially claimed that it was protesters who attacked him. Members of his family said that Saber had been put under pressure by police, and he quickly changed his account, saying that he had in fact been assaulted by police
In an interview with Sada El-Balad Satellite channel, El-Beltagy accused Saber of orchestrating the whole incident, asserting that eyewitnesses saw him stripping himself in a "degrading way."
"We made a hero out of a thug," protested El-Beltagy who further added that Saber’s neighbours revealed that he had been earning money from "thuggish" acts since the January 25 revolution.
El-Beltagy further criticised the ministry of interior for giving into Saber’s narrative by apologising to him.
After the video of Saber’s assault was widely circulated on social networks and in a variety of Egyptian media channels, an official statement was issued by the minister of interior apologising for the incident. In another statement, however, the ministry denied that policemen stripped Saber.