Egypt: In response to the indictments in Alexandria

Statement by the Egyptian Libertarian Socialist Movement

egyptLast Sunday, during the Alexandria court hearing which was to pronounce a verdict on police officers accused of killing protesters during clashes in January 2011, the police in charge of guarding the court began to provoke the victims’ families and activists who had come to support them peacefully as they had done for previous hearings.

After the provocation, the police charged the crowd violently. The charge quickly became a race to grab any person in the vicinity, and there were beatings and arrests everywhere. Thirty-one people were arrested and transferred to the notorious Al Gharbanyat prison in the region of the city of Borg El Arab (45 km south of Alexandria) without allowing those arrested to contact their relatives or lawyers.

Among the arestees are four of our comrades, although they did not participate in the support rally outside the court or in the clashes with the police. These comrades are:

  1. Mohammed Izz al-Din
  2. Amir Assad
  3. Mohammed al-Badri
  4. Mohammed Hussein

They were having coffee after their usual distribution of leaflets, which leads us to believe that their arrest was not improvised but premeditated. Because these comrades are amongst the most active members of the LSM, they are present at every strike and every demonstration and the intelligence services know them very well. The charges against the 31 are: conspiracy to commit vandalism and the destruction of public property, as well as the use of violence against the forces of law and order.

This Wednesday, 23 January, there was a hearing to request that the holding period be extended, though the police were objecting to the prisoners being transferred, on the pretext that moving them would involve security problems. The prosecutor validated this absurd decision of the police and postponed the arraignment to Wednesday, 30 January at Borg El Arab court and not the Mansheya court (Alexandria) where the clashes took place. This decision condemns those arrested to stay another 10 days in jail without any legal justification. Despite this, the media and human rights organizations are silent.

We accuse the Ministry of the Interior of abuse and revenge against our comrades and the other arrestees, both for the violent repression and for their imprisonment without fixed charges for 10 days in prison under close surveillance, when they are merely supposed to be “on remand”.

We also accuse the fascist Muslim Brotherhood government of being behind this repression against any person and any popular committee which claims its rights, as well as those who support them against the government and its acolytes.

Despite the indictment of our comrades, we will not resign ourselves to accepting the State’s tyranny, and we appeal for solidarity from all anarchist and revolutionary organizations around the world. We ask that you show your support for our comrades at Egyptian embassies and consulates.

Our struggle will continue until the State and capitalism have been abolished.

Libertarian Socialist Movement, Egypt

24 January 2013

Translation: FdCA – International Relations Office