Islamists angry over Salafist activist's 'humiliating' arrest

Ahram Online, Wednesday 20 Mar 2013

Four people, including Salafist activist Gamal Saber were arrested for involvement in Shubra deadly clashes on Monday

Gamal Saber
Salafist activist Gamal Saber blindfolded upon his arrest on charges of involvement in Monday Shubra clashes, Cairo, March 19.

Four people have been arrested on charges of involvement in deadly clashes in Cairo's Shubra district on Monday.

Those arrested include Gamal Saber, coordinator of Lazem Hazem ('It Must Be Hazem') a group supporting former Salafist presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail, whose son had allegedly killed a 15-year-old boy before deadly clashes ensued.

Violence broke out on Monday after Saad Dorra, 15, was killed during a football match at a school in Shubra, reportedly by the son of Saber.

Two people were killed and 26 injured in the resulting clashes, during which bird shot and Molotov cocktails were fired, reported state news agency MENA.

A photo circulated Tuesday showing Saber blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back upon his arrest in the aftermath of the violence has provoked furious reactions among Islamist leaders.

Abu-Ismail said in a statement issued on his official Facebook page on Wednesday: "President Morsi, you are responsible for this disgrace of issuing a photo no law would ever permit."

"I'll remain a foe of you until you hold whoever is responsible for this message of humiliation to account…otherwise, your era becomes disgraced and we will take the necessary stance against any rule that pays no heed to grievances."

For his part, Salafist Nour Party spokesman Nader Bakkar also condemned the photo. "I thought such abuses only used to exist under the Mubarak regime. But under an elected government and an Islamist rule, I wonder?" Bakkar wrote on Facebook.

"Since the revolution, nothing has changed in the way the Egyptian citizen is treated and the way his dignity is preserved."

Essam El-Erian, deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), also joined the voices critical of the manner in which Saber was arrested, asserting that the incident was "a wrong message at an improper time."

"Egyptians would never allow the return of the suppressive practices that characterised obsolete regimes," he affirmed.

Police on Tuesday arrested Saber's son. Attempts are ongoing to arrest other suspects connected with the violence.

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