Opposition figures blame Brotherhood for attacks

A number of political activists and opposition figures assaulted in Tahrir Square and in front of the State Council in Dokki this week accused Muslim Brotherhood members of the attacks.

MPs Abul Ezz al-Hariry, Hamdy al-Fakhrany and Atef Maghawry, lawyer Negad al-Boraie and Free Egyptians Party leader Yehia al-Ghazaly Harb say they were verbally and physically assaulted by young people they allege belong to the Brotherhood.

Some of the victims said the assaults constitute a return to the systematic violence used by the former regime on its opposition.

The Brotherhood and its political party have said they have nothing to do with the alleged violence. Ahmed Abu Baraka, the party's legal advisor, told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Thursday that the group does not use violence and called on those who claim to have been attacked to take the issue to court.

Hariry claims the attack he faced in Tahrir is part of ongoing violence perpetrated by Islamist groups since the presidential elections put the Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsy in power. In statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm Wednesday, Hariry alleged that Islamists pressured the government to announce Morsy the winner of the election, igniting a conflict between the Brotherhood and its opponents.

Hariry, a former presidential candidate who belongs to the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, said the violence was planned to intimidate opposition figures and was ignited by hostile statements from Brotherhood leaders.

Tagammu Party lawmaker Atef Maghawry told Al-Masry Al-Youm Wednesday that while he was walking on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, a group of Brotherhood members who were participating in a pro-Morsy protest attacked him and ripped his clothes in the presence of Freedom and Justice Party MP Azzab Mostafa. The attack Tuesday came after he criticised Morsy's decision to reinstate the People's Assembly at a conference at the Journalists Syndicate the same day.

Maghawry said he then filed a report with the police in which he accused Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, Morsy and the head of the FJP of inciting violence and marginalizing opponents of Morsy's decision.

Harb was also reportedly assaulted and insulted Tuesday while his party was protesting in front of the State Council on Tuesday to reject Morsy's move.

Boraie, who earlier reported that supporters of the decision splashed water on his face and insulted him as he was leaving an administrative court, said he is astonished Brotherhood leaders have not apologized for the events.

Political science professor Iglal Rafaat claimed the Brotherhood is using the same methods of the dissolved National Democratic Party to deal with its opposition and called on the group to review its practices. Yasser al-Azabawy, a researcher at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, also said these incidents raise concerns about how the Brotherhood will deal with opponents.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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