Hafez Abu Saada, a member of Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights, a governmental body, has revealed that the General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, refused to meet with the council’s delegation to the Tora prison outside of Cairo on Tuesday, telling them to “go and visit Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square instead,” signalling a demand to investigate the government’s bloody crackdown on pro-Morsi supporters.
The Egyptian security forces and army attacked anti-coup protesters at the Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square to the east of Cairo and the Nahda Square to the west of Cairo on 14 August, leaving hundreds dead and thousands injured, according to official figures. The peaceful protesters were objecting to the military ouster of Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi.
The Muslim Brotherhood accuses the Egyptian security forces of killing pro-Morsi supporters during the infamous operation, while the army claims that the pro-Morsi supporters had arms which they were using to attack the security forces.
Abu Saada told Anadolu news agency that the delegation met with several representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood including: Saad Husseini, a Brotherhood leader and the former governor of Kafr El-Sheik; and Ahmed Abu Baraka, another Brotherhood leader. Also attending the meeting were Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, the head of the Salafist Al-Raya Party and Abul Ela Madi, the head of the Islamist Al-Wasat Party, along with his deputy Essam Sultan.
Abu Saada noted that Badie, his deputy Khairat Al-Shater, Saad Katatni, who is the head of the Freedom and Justice Party and Helmy Al Jazzar, another Brotherhood leader, had all refused to meet with the delegation, saying that the delegation only visited the Tora prison to check on their health conditions and to see if they were being treated in accordance with acceptable prison regulations.
According to Abu Saada, the delegation emphasized the prisoners were receiving good treatment but demanded that the prison authorities extend their exercise to more than two hours a day, as well as increase visitation hours and allow newspapers in.
Abu Saada explained that the delegation did not discuss any political issues during their meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood leaders, stating that: “Our organization is neutral”.
The Egyptian authorities accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of inciting violence, while the Brotherhood stresses the group’s peaceful approach and accuses the Egyptian security forces of killing demonstrators simply for refusing the military’s ouster of elected President Morsi.