Egypt's FJP denies mob killing of its leader's son is political

Ahram Online, Saturday 4 May 2013

Sharqiya's FJP office says the fight that ended with the mob killing of the son of one of their leaders was happenstance, denying any connection to a political insult on Facebook

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House of FJP leader in El-Qataweya village, Sharqiya, torched by angry crowd. (Photo: Ahram Arabic news website)

Egypt's ruling Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) denies that the killing of the son of one of its leaders in Egypt's Nile Delta Sharqiya governorate is political.

Hundreds of El-Qataweya village residents dragged 16-year-old Youssef, son of Rabie Lasheen, head of the FJP office in the village, onto the street and beat him to death on Friday.

The secondary school student was accused of shooting a 28-year-old man for insulting his father in a Facebook post. An auto rickshaw (tok tok) driver in his '40s was accidentally gunned down, too.

"The incident is not politically-motivated" reads the statement flatly on their office's Facebook page.

A fight happened to break out Thursday afternoon between a young man of El-Qataweya village and Youssef Lasheen, says the head of the Sharqiya FJP office, Ahmed Shehata in the post.

"During the fight, a passer-by was killed by mistake," he concluded, omitting anything related to the 28-year-old shooting victim's reported politically-natured Facebook post.

Shehata also called for calm: "We hope that issues are put in their appropriate context and we call on everyone for self-restraint."

"The [FJP] condemns all kinds of violence and emphasises the need to respect the law and for it to apply to everyone," he added.

Mob killings have been recurrent in villages and rural areas across Egypt within a security vacuum seen after Egypt's 2011 uprising.

Shehata recounts that "Groups of young people surrounded Lasheen's home... and [torched] it while 13 members of Lasheen's family, including women and children, were inside and forced up onto the house's roof."

According to Shehata, police arrived at midnight to the scene, but failed to negotiate with the crowd at the house.

"At daybreak [Friday], the police was able to get the family down from the roof when the crowds kidnapped Youssef and assaulted him, dragging him 500 metres across the street."

The Sharqiya governorate is considered to be the most plagued with brutal unofficial executions.

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