Member of the Egyptian House of Representatives and journalist, Mostafa Bakry, claimed in a statement that the engineering student of Helwan University, Nader Mohammad, who recently threw himself off the top of Cairo Tower, belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood and committed suicide to “fuel the protests” against the ruling authority, in conjunction with the imminence of the ninth commemoration of the Egyptian revolution.
On Friday, Bakry sent a message to journalists via WhatsApp, which he forwarded from a WhatsApp group comprising Egyptian editors-in-chief and journalists, run under the General Intelligence Service’s knowledge.
He claimed that Mohammad was the brother of dismissed army major, Karim Tusoon, convicted of joining terrorist cells in 2013.
Bakry added in his message that Mohammad’s brother is married to the daughter of a staff member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that she persuaded her brother-in-law to commit suicide, to instruct someone to film him at the top of Cairo Tower and to publish the video on social media. However, the video was recorded by one of the tower’s security cameras, and not by an eyewitness.
Bakry continued that the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan aimed to show the suicide with the same intention as the young Tunisian, Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire in early 2011 and was a major cause of the outbreak of the Tunisian Revolution. He explained that the filming of the incident was intended to spread this suicide operation amongst young people in Egypt.
Bakry concluded his message by asserting that Mohammad’s suicide represents an alternative tactical change to the use of the explosive belt and direct suicide operations, especially after the bombing of the Institute of Oncology in Cairo last August (killing more than 20 citizens). The incident damaged the Muslim Brotherhood’s popularity, and they considered it a big mistake, according to the message forwarded by the MP.
The repercussions of Mohammad’s suicide are still dominating the attention of social media websites in Egypt, with the launch of many hashtags, including “#why Egyptian youth are committing suicide,” to discuss the causes of suicide among youths. This issue became a remarkable phenomenon during the rule of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, as a result of the deteriorating economic and social conditions.
On the morning of 1 December, the video of Mohammad’s suicide was spread on social media, with accusations of the ruling authority being responsible for the increased suicide cases. According to a report by the World Health Organisation, Egypt has topped the list of Arab countries in terms of the number of suicide rates over the past few years.
This has prompted sociologists and psychologists to warn against this growing phenomenon, amid the increase of living burdens on Egyptian families, 45 per cent of which are living below the poverty line, according to official figures in the country.