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ANHRI condemns attacks on protestors, raid on residential building

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 6 February 2012 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned today the breach of an agreement made by the Egyptian security services with MPs regarding a protest headed towards the Ministry of Interior. An agreement was made the previous night stating that the security services would not confront the protesters unless the reached within 100 meters of the ministry. Nonetheless, the security serves attacked protesters on streets leading to the ministry, chasing them and arresting dozens. The security services used excessive force against protesters, injuring hundreds, including the head of the medical syndicate, Khairy Abdel Dayem, and several other activists including the young activist Salma Said who was shot with pellets in her face and other parts of her body.

This move further proves that the Ministry of Interior does not desire peace, and that its use of violence is not solely for the protection of society, as some officials have alleged.

ANHRI also strongly condemns the raid by the security forces on a residential building in Mansour Street in search of a camera belonging to the CBC TV channel, which aired most of the clashes live. The security forces unlawfully broke the building gates; raided and searched the rooms on the roof; insulted the inhabitants; confiscated their mobile phones and laptops and asked them about the camera. They then went on to raid another apartment where two sisters live, insulted them by labeling them as infiltrators, and asked them about the camera. These actions clearly demonstrate the security services' pursuit of targeting media in order to hide from the public their use of excessive force against protesters.

ANHRI would also like to recall the journalists and media professionals who were attacked by the security services during the recent clashes following the Port Said massacre, including Mohamed Gawdat, reporter of Rasd News, who was arrested and tortured by central security soldiers, and Mahmoud Alghazaly, reporter of Nile News TV channel, who was shot in the eye with pellets while covering the clashes in Mansour Street.

"The elected Parliament should take a firm stance against the actions of the Ministry of Interior, both for its negligence in performing its duties during the bloody events in Port Said as well as its use of excessive violence against protesters, in breach of its agreement with MPs," stated ANHRI.

ANHRI calls upon the Parliament to issue legislation that contains a plan to restructure the Ministry of Interior, cleanse it of corrupt officers and suspend from duty the ones accused of killing protesters while their trials are ongoing.

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