Mansoura victim was run over twice by police: Father

Randa Ali , Saturday 2 Mar 2013

Egypt's interior ministry states young man killed in protest area was 'accidentally' hit by security vehicle; father tells Ahram Online he was run over twice

Father of Mansoura slain
Protesters stand outside main Daqahliya governorate building, archive photo (Photo: Al-Ahram Arabic)

Father of Hossam Abdel-Azim, a young man slain in clashes in Egypt's Nile Delta city of Mansoura, has accused security forces of using excessive force against protesters, blaming the interior ministry for his son's death.

"Hossam was hit by a police vehicle and then a second police vehicle came and ran him over again," the father, who had not been on the scene but stresses eyewitnesses corroborate his story, told Ahram Online while maintaining composure.

The media spokesman for the interior ministry announced Saturday that Abdel-Azim, who was pronounced dead in the early hours of the day, was "accidentally killed."

Quoting Abdel-Azim's brother as saying it was not the driver's intention to kill his brother, the statement says the victim was among the protesters who were gathering in front of the governorate building and the security directorate.

Abdel-Azim senior, however, claims his son was merely passing through the vicinity after buying sandwiches in the neighbourhood. "He was not participating in the protests when he was killed," said the father.

"My son was not into politics and he wouldn't take part in protests," he said. "The interior ministry's story is not true; he was run over twice so it can't be an accident," the father added.

In his "struggle" to get a copy of the forensic report to ascertain the real reason behind his son's death, the father was told it is "confidential."

"Our neighbour, who is with the forensic doctor, promised to bring us a copy of what will be written," he added.

Activist Ahmed Douma said on Twitter that the initial hospital report lists that Abdel-Azim was killed in a road accident.

Conflicting reports

The interior ministry's statement accused protesters of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the governorate building, which allegedly caused a minor fire on the first floor.

"In an attempt to calm the situation we talked with protesters. However, they continued their assault on the building, which forced us to fire teargas to disperse them," recounts the statement.

It also mentions that 28 "rioters" were arrested and over 20 policemen and officers injured in the melee.

Hisham El-Adawi, member of the Egyptian Popular Current and an eyewitness to the clashes, told Ahram Online that the protests began peacefully on Friday until the protesters started marching and chanting.

"We found security forces firing teargas excessively and shooting pellets at us," said El-Adawi. "Several were arrested and beaten."

Some of the activists who came from different governorates to support the protest were also arrested, added Adawi.

"They were also firing teargas inside the field hospital in the [opposition] Popular Current's headquarters," he said.

Meanwhile, Nasserist lawyer Mohamed Refaat told Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website that security forces attacked him on Friday night as he was heading towards the Popular Current headquarters.

He received an SOS from members of the Popular Current, who were suffocating from teargas fired "inside their bureau."

"This is not an attempt by the police to disperse protesters, they were deliberately targeting the field hospital [inside the headquarters] with the intention of killing people," argued Refaat.

The clashes in Mansoura come after almost a week of activists' calls for civil disobedience in the city to protest the rule of President Mohamed Morsi.

The calls for civil disobedience echoes those circulating in the cities of Port Said, Ismailia, Suez and Mahalla, where fierce clashes have also been erupting since the January 25 Revolution's second anniversary.

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