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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Brotherhood accused of inciting attacks on women in Tahrir Square

From Bikya Masr:
Two top Muslim Brotherhood officials are being investigated by Egypt’s Attorney General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud over their role in allegedly inciting President Mohamed Morsi supporters to attack female protesters around Tahrir Square last Friday.

Mohamed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian are under investigation, Mahmoud said.

Mahmoud himself had only the day before defied an order to step down from his position after President Morsi attempted to push him out after a court acquitted former top Hosni Mubarak officials of their role in the infamous “Camel Battle” during the 18 days of protests that ousted his rule.

The move to fire the Attorney General was largely met with criticism by the country’s judiciary and was seen as an attempt by Morsi to take more control of the largely independent branch.

But Mahmoud remained defiant and stayed in his post.

The charges being brought against Beltagy and Erian were the result of at least one female activist who claimed Brotherhood supporters sought out and actively attacked women at the demonstration, which spun out of control into opposing factions attacking each other on Friday afternoon.

Unfortunately for Egypt, sexual violence toward women is nothing new. June this year saw some of the worst attacks against women, with both foreigners and Egyptians reporting that they had been sexually assaulted in the square take place following the disbanding of Parliament.
The battle between Morsi and the judiciary is worth watching as well, and because it is so bitter it is possible that these specific charges are more an effort by attorney general Mahmoud to embarrass Morsi and his party.

It is not easy to tease the truth out of Egyptian media.