Families of MB leaders call for their unconditional release
Sobhy Saleh - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The families of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, who have been imprisoned pending investigations, threatened to organize a number of stands and protests against the regime on Thursday.

Families of the imprisoned leaders held a press conference on Thursday at the headquarters of the Independence Party. Among the attendees were the families of Khairat el-Shater, Essam el-Erian and Mohamed el-Beltagy, prominent leaders of the Brotherhood, in addition to a member of the National Council for Human Rights.

The group requested that authorities release the MB members in police custody immediately, and without conditions, adding that they would step up the issue and request the intervention of international courts, alleging that the charges against the leaders are fabricated and that they are being abducted in prisons and deprived of their basic rights, as reported by their families.

One of the leading women in Thursday’s conference was Hoda Abdul Moneim, of the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy, and former member of the National Council for Human Rights under Mohamed Morsi, criticized the report issued by the council’s fact-finding committee, saying it published incorrect information.

Dakahlia Ikhwan (MB in Dakahlia) website published Abdul Moneim’s reaction analysis of the report. She stated that the first piece incorrect information is the number of people who died during the dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins. The committee estimated that 632 people died, compared to much higher figures, as recorded by important international human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch (HRW), which Abdul Moneim said reported 2000 deaths.

However, a report issued by 13 organizations on Dec. 10, 2013, including Human Rights Watch, as well as Amnesty International, said, “Thirteen Egyptian and international human rights organizations are calling on Egyptian authorities to acknowledge and investigate the killing of up to 1,000 people by security forces dispersing Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins.”

The report added that the Egyptian government raised the death toll in November and that Forensic Medical Authority said 726 bodies were received in morgues, excluding bodies that were directly buried.

Yet, Abdul Moneim continued that most claims in the NCHR report were false, such as those of protesters being armed, in addition to the submission of videos that she implied were fabricated “to complete the council’s story.”

She stated that it was a report “on security, not on human rights,” which would be used by the council before the Attorney General to pile more accusations onto the “kidnapped suspects.”

The currently detained MB leaders are facing charges of inciting the killing of peaceful protesters, violence, disrupting national security, and even conspiring against the state with foreign entities. They are still under investigation, but the Brotherhood has been officially declared as a terrorist group.

Since the ouster of Morsi and the dispersal of their sit-ins, violence has notably increased, with an outbreak of terrorist attacks across Egypt, mostly targeting police and military institutions. Meanwhile, the police maintained a crackdown on protesters and journalists, both associated with the Brotherhood and not, under the pretext of “counter-terrorism.”

Additional reporting by Mohamed Haggag.

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