April 6 movement accuses police of torturing detainees

An Egyptian activist group on Wednesday accused police officers of torturing four of its members after arresting them Tuesday.

The April 6 Youth Movement's Democratic Front said officers at the Old Cairo police department assaulted its members, who they detained Tuesday while circulating posters critical of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

The April 6 Youth Movement was one of the most prominent activist groups that helped topple the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak. It has been highly critical of the SCAF's performance since the military council assumed power in February.

In July, the SCAF accused the group of treason following a march it had planned to the SCAF headquarters.

The activists were detained while hanging up posters that compared heroic images of soldiers after the 1973 war with Israel with pictures of troops beating women in Cairo during protests last month, according to Amr Ezz, an April 6 movement organizer.

A statement by the group said activists Sherif Mohamed, Mahmoud Zakariya, Mahmoud Hossam and Hassan Hafez were harshly beaten and insulted by the police officers who the group said also cursed last January's uprising.

The statement added that the officers compelled the detainees to sign fabricated testimonies before referring them to prosecutors, who charged them with planning a coup and disturbing public order.

The same statement said prosecutors asked the detainees questions about the group's spokesperson, Tarek al-Khouly, adding that the queries where an attempt to frame Khouly as an instigator.

Khouly threatened to stage an open sit-in outside the office of Egypt's attorney general if his colleagues are not released.

The detention of the activists represents a "deviation from the revolutionary course drawn by the January uprising — which sought the freedom of protesting — and a return to the practices of the old regime," Khouly said.

Khouly added that the arrest will not dissuade the group from its efforts to lobby for a mass demonstration on 25 January, the revolution's first anniversary, in protest of the SCAF's practices and to resume the struggle for justice and freedom.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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