Salafist 'Hazemoon' member slapped with life sentence for firearms possession

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din, Sunday 19 May 2013

A member of Salafist Sheikh Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail's Hazemoon movement is given a life prison sentence and LE20,000 fine for possession of unlicensed firearms, allegedly used in attack on Wafd Party HQ

Wafd Party headquarters after attack by Salafist Hazemoon member supporters, 15 December 2012 (Photo: Ahram Arabic news website)

Cairo Criminal Court has issued a life prison sentence of 25 years and a fine of LE20,000 ($2,800) for Salafist Hazemoon movement member Ahmed Arafa, on possession of firearms without a licence.

Arafa, an engineer, was arrested in December 2012 by security forces while in possession of the firearms in his apartment in a building he owns. A firearm, an automatic rifle and ammunition were recovered in his possession.

Arafa had previously stated in his defence that plainclothes officers had entered his home searching for weapons but did not find anything illegal.

The search came following accusations of his involvement in attacks on the liberal Wafd Party headquarters on 15 December 2012.

A day following the attack on 16 December, secretary of the Wafd Party Fouad Badrawy filed a report accusing Hazemoon members, who are supporters of former Salafist presidential hopeful Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail, of attacking party offices, lighting it on fire, and assaulting police and personnel.

The attacks were spurred by anger among Hazemoon members after opposition protesters trapped Sheikh Ahmed El-Mahallawy in the Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque in the coastal city of Alexandria, after he called on people to approve the constitution, which was later passed in December 2012.

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