Egypt's Brotherhood asserts right to protect headquarters, self-defence
Muslim Brotherhood's secretary general Mahmoud Hussein asserts Brotherhood members will protect and defend their headquarters in self-defence, even if Egypt police will not
Zeinab El Gundy , Thursday 21 Mar 2013
Muslim Brotherhood's Secretary General Mahmoud Hussein speaks at a news conference in Cairo March 21, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said it has the right to protect its offices against attacks by protesters, referring to recent violent clashes between protesters and members of the Islamist group at the Brotherhood's headquarters last Saturday.
"We have the right to defend our buildings, using all possible ways, if the police force does not defend them," Mahmoud Hussein, the the group's general secretary said at a press conference on Thursday.
The protection of the corporations and buildings is the responsibility of the police, he stressed.
The Brotherhood officials showed the journalists parts of clips filmed by Youm7 website during the clashes to prove that the protesters started their assault first by provoking the members of the Islamist group. The video showed protesters drawing offensive slogans on the walls of the Brotherhood headquarters, writing "Down with the Brotherhood" and "F*ck Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi."
Clashes erupted between Brotherhood members and graffiti artists and protesters on 16 March after the latter came and began to paint anti-Brotherhood slogans on the walls and the street of the Brotherhood headquarters. Video clips from websites, such as Youm7, showed Brotherhood members beating the protesters, as well as women, sparking criticism in the media towards the Islamist group.
"We did not attack anyone. Yet, we will not let our headquarters be attacked," said Hussein, accusing some political powers in Egypt of calling protesters via Facebook to burn down the Brotherhood headquarters in Egypt.
"We respect all journalists and their professionalism," concluded Ahmed Araf, the official Brotherhood spokesperson.
The press conference did not continue peacefully as fights erupted between the journalists and the Brotherhood officials. The journalists accused the Brotherhood officials of ignoring the videos, showing the assaults made by members of the Islamist group against journalists. In a protesting move, most of the journalists attending the press conference decided to withdraw.
Several journalists from news TV channels and newspapers were attacked by Muslim Brotherhood members during the clashes on 16 March, while covering the clashes as well the visit of the Hamas delegation to the Muslim Brotherhood headquarter.
On the other hand, journalists that have been assaulted at the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters are planning to hold a press conference to refute what the Brotherhood declared.