Al-Istiqlal Party HQ raided, NASL press conference prevented
The headquarters of Al-Istiqlal Party - YOUM7/Hazem Abdelsamad
By HANAN FAYED

CAIRO: Security forces raided the headquarters of Al-Istiqlal Party Tuesday, preventing the holding of a press conference scheduled by the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL).

According to a Monday statement on NASL’s Facebook page, the press conference was being organized to respond to the report on the dispersal of Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins released by the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) Monday.

The raid was carried out per an order by the prosecution, as some members of the NASL are “wanted for belonging to a terrorist organization,” according to Youm7.

Head of the NCHR Mohamed Faeq had said during a press conference, which was broadcast on state TV Monday, that the council had tried to communicate with the Muslim Brotherhood to hear their account of the events; but they” refused to cooperate.”

The report lacks “standards of documentation” and evidence because it did not include testimonies from Muslim Brotherhood members or injured police, or official reports from the Forensic Medicine Authority, executive manager of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR), Tareq Zaghloul, told The Cairo Post Monday.

Chairman of the EOHR Hafez Abu Seada, who is also a member of the NCHR, told CBC Extra channel on Monday that the NCHR report has “many flaws.”

According to NCHR, the forcible dispersal of the two sit-ins resulted in at least 632 deaths. Reports by the Muslim Brotherhood place the number at over 2,500, and reports by the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights place the number at 904, with victims’ names being documented.

Faeq called on everyone with different figures of the death toll to present their documents “to contest the NCHR report.”

Magdi Qorqor, Al-Istiqlal Party’s secretary general, told The Cairo Post that he would like to hear the NCHR’s response on the prevention of the NASL press conference, adding that Faeq had called for different views to be presented freely.

“The prevention of the conference evidences the state’s lack of confidence in its position,” Qorqor said.

The NASL issued a statement Tuesday commenting on the raid prevention of the conference saying it “would indefinitely postpone announcing the content of the press conference.”

Deputy Executive Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information Rawda Ahmed told The Cairo Post Tuesday that the prevention of any conference by any party was “unacceptable” and represents part of “the crackdown on freedom of expression.”

“The police state is back, even stronger than before,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed Shaban, the head of the Egyptian Socialist Party, told Youm7 the NASL was the “voice of terrorism” since the fall of the Brotherhood’s rule, adding that the Tuesday party raid “was late because NASL pushed the country towards failure through intimidation and accusing Egyptians of apostasy.”

Tamarod spokesperson Mohamed Nabawy said the raid was part of combating “terrorism” and “chaos.”

Additional reporting by Mohamed Haggag.

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