Brotherhood member detained over abuse at Ittihadiya clashes

Ahram Online, Wednesday 21 Aug 2013

Alaa Hamza, Egyptian Brotherhood member, is again to be arrested and held pending investigations into charges of abusing protesters

Heliopolis prosecution orders the detention of Muslim Brotherhood member Alaa Hamza for 15 days again, pending investigations into charges of holding anti-Morsi protesters against their will. 

Hamza was summoned by prosecutors in mid-April for interrogations on accusations that he held and mistreated protesters near the Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012.

He was released on bail later in May and prosecution referred his case to criminal court in June.

Hamza had denied the accusations against him, saying that he did not hold any protesters or physically abuse them, adding that he only asked them about their reasons for presence at the protest. 

Videos posted online after the violence in December – which resulted in several deaths – showed protesters being tied up, interrogated and physically assaulted by bearded men near the presidential palace in Heliopolis.

Hamza appeared in some of these videos interrogating captured protesters. Some of those who testified also accused Hamza of involvement in torturing the captured.

At least ten people were killed and over 600 injured when clashes broke out between supporters and opponents of now-ousted president Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, outside Ittihadiya in Cairo's Heliopolis district in December. Morsi's opponents were protesting against a constitutional declaration he had issued 22 November 2012 extending his powers and shielding his decrees from judicial review. 

Following Morsi's ouster on 3 July by Egypt's army amid mass protests against his rule, tens of Brotherhood leaders were arrested and some face trial on various criminal charges. 

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