The Harvest of Incitement, hate speech and the police complicity reap the soul of 4 Shiites Egyptian citizens

Fact- Finding ReportThe Harvest of Incitement, hate speech and the police complicity   reap the soul of 4 Shiites Egyptian citizens

On the Events of Zawya Abou Muslim

 

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information

 

Cairo June 24, 2013

 

Brief on Zawya Abou Muslim village:

Zawya Abou Muslim is one of the villages of the Abu El-Nomors Center in Giza Governorate and the total residents of the village are 17 thousands. It is a peaceful village and most of the residents are Sunni Muslims and among them are about 200 of the Shitte Egyptian Muslims.

According to the people, there wasn’t events because of doctrines before but after the starting of the incitement against them in the mosques and labeling them by infidels, the residents begin to renounce the Shitte who are in the village.

 

Brief on the Committee’s work and Methodology

… The committee began its work once they heard about the clashes between Muslims “Sunni or Shitte” in a small village known as “Zawya Abou Muslim” and it is located in Giza Governorate. The Committee is formed of two lawyers from the Legal Aid Unit (LAU) and went directly at 6:00 pm of 23/6/2013 toward the village and reached at 07:30 pm.

 

aboelnmrs2The committee used the following methodology:

1-        Field visit to the Scene of the Events in the Village.

2-        Interviews with individuals from village and governmental personnel.

3-        Interviews with individuals from inside the police station.

4-        Interviews with some of the people there and eyewitnesses.

5-        Interviews with some of who know the victims.

6-        The Committee relied on the videos that were photographed with the events and spoke with who took such videos …

7-        The Committee used some of the governmental officials in the TV programs.

 

The challenges that encountered the committee…

1-         The Committee inability to freely move inside the village because of closing most of its entrances by the Central Security Forces ..

2-         The inability to reach the victims because they were dead and some of them were sent to hospitals away from the village and the rest of the victims flee from the village.

Events according to statements of the witnesses:

The witnesses, whether from the people or the government officials, that the crisis started since one month ago when some of the mosques Imamas in “Zawya Abou Muslim” and especially Sheikh “M.A” spread the speech of hate and incitement from the mosques podiums against the Shittee in the villages. It reached to the amount that they issued Fatwas that they are infidels, which resulted in the developments that a demonstration took to the streets of the village by who belongs to the Islamic Groups since three weeks, especially, against the family of “Abu Meshry”. The demonstration stood in front of the house and chanted slogans against them and calling them by infidels who as they swear at the companions of the Prophet “Mohamed” and chanted that whoever swear at Abu -Baker and Moawiah is an infidel.

On Yesterday Sunday June 23, 2013, one of the residents from the Shitte, Mr. Shihtah Abu Meshry” invited one of the Shitte leaders in Egypt “Mr. Hassan Shihatah” to his house and in another testimony some people said that the residents of the village demanded from Mr. Shihtah Abu Meshry not to receive Mr. Hassan Shihatah” in their village but he refused and insisted on inviting him in his house which led to the anger of the people and surrounded his house about 3:30 pm. Then they have attacked the house and threw bricks, glasses and Molotov on it but it didn’t burn …

Mr. Shihatah Abu Meshry and his guest and other flee from the ground floor to the second floor then the residents of the village raided into the house and destroyed the top of the house by the iron hammers until they were able to arrest him and killed him and other 4 citizens. They dragged him in the streets of village during the attendance of the central security forces and the mayor of the village who refused to intervene because they have no instruction to interfere according to one of the soldiers and the committee watched the videos of the fact.

 

 Statements…

One of the Central Security Soldiers said to the committee that the investigation authority asked Mr. Shihtah to surrender Mr. Hassan Shihatah but he refused and said “over my dead body”.

The Committee went to Abu Nomors police station to communicate with the police officers but they refused, but the committee was able to communicate with a police personnel and he lives in the Abu Nomors. He agreed to communicate with us and provided us with information about the fact, he said “there are four persons who died as a result of these events and they are in Homdayah hospitals. The reason of this event is the Shiekhs of the mosques who spoke on last Friday prayer and said that the Shitte are disbelievers and infidels and we must kick them out of the village and the leader of the Shitte in this place is “Shihtah Abu Meshry” Shabban Ab Meshry””. He refused to provide us with more information under the pretext that until this moment there is no report was filled and the Security Dirctor had reached the place.

The Committee went to the village but it was semi-surrounded by the Central Security Forces and there was about 8 central security cars in the village. The committee also found the police officer with a civilian person, so the committee spoke with the officers to know what happened, so he said “there was clashes between the people at 3:00 pm and there are killed persons but they didn’t participate in the clashes in any form”!

Then and by asking the civilian person, the Committee discovered that he is from the residents and said that “the main reason of the problem is that “Shihtah Abu Shemry” had invited someone called “Hassan Shihatah” and he is one of the prominent Shiite figures and the people doesn’t endure the house of Abu Shemry because they are Shiite and infidels. Some of the Shitte in the country call people to join the Shiite faction and actually some had joined them, asserting that he saw one of his friends in the video sect who joined them and exercising their rituals. He continued “the people said to Abu Shemry don’t invite Hassan Shihatah but he said that he will invite him and also the investigation authorities in Abu Nomors said that if this man came here; surrender him to us but he said it is over my dead body and no one could attack me or to be exposed to me. He insisted on inviting Hassan, so the people went to his house today at 3:30 pm and throw stones and glasses until they were able to caught them and others. Then they kept on beating them until they fall on earth and among them 4 were dead and one in a serious condition. The reason is that the Sheiks said that they are infidels”.

The last testimony from inside the village and one of the residents who is “Hazem Barakat, photographer” lives next to the house of Abu Shemry about 100 meters.

He said that “the problem started since three weeks and there was a demonstration from some people who belong to the Salafis and to other religious trends went to the house of Abu Meshry and the individuals who are in the village and stood in front of his house. They chanted slogans that Shiites are infidels and they refused to have them in the village, then he said but Meshry invited “Hassan Shihatah” to visit the village but the people refused it and in the last two days and especially the last Friday, the Shiekh of the next mosque delivered a speech against the Shiite and said that they are infidels and started to incite the people against them. Today at 3:00, I was surprised when I saw an assembling of the people of the village, so I went down to see what isg going on, then I found that the people attacked the house of Abu Meshry and threw stones, glasses and Molotov but the house wasn’t burn. So Mr. Shihtah Abu Meshry flee with his guest and other from the ground floor to the second floor in the house, so the people raided the house and destroyed the the top of the house by the iron hammers until they caught them and killed them. Then they have dragged them in the streets in the village and killed them. He added that “the police was there and I asked them to interfere to disperse the people but they didn’t move and the people assaulted Shihtah and the persons who were with him and they dragged him and mutilated their bodies. He said “the role of the policemen was only to remove the bodies from the land”.

 

 

Video segments 

The videos obtained by the Committee from some of the people verify what the eyewitnesses said and what was circulated in the news. The videos show some people dragging others in the streets after killing them while the Central Security Personnel were only watching it without any movement until the people throw the bodies on the earth, then the policemen carried it to their police cars ..

In one of the TV shows the Security Director of Giza said that the police did its role, as the people surrounded 34 citizens from Shitte sect and the police had made 30 flee and the people were able caught 4 of them and killed them.

 

The Committee found the following results …

1-         There are four deaths, they are Shaban Abu Meshry/ Hassan Shihtah/ Abdulmongy Abu Meshry/ we couldn’t reach the fourth name

2-         The police previously knew the events and the police was there during the event, but didn’t take any precautionary measure to any potential attack; which happened.

3-         There is a hate discourse against the Shitte in the village by some Shiekhs.

   4-         The lack of the supervision of the Ministry of Endowments over these mosques and their Imams.

Committee Recognition ..

1-        Prompt fair and transparent criminal investigation against whoever incited against the Shitte since months.

2-        Prompt arrest of the perpetrators and inciters to invading the house of the victims in addition to killing and dragging the victims in the street.

3-        Taking serious measures by the Ministry of Endowments toward the responsible Imams of the mosques in the village and taking the deterrent legal procedures against them…

4-        Promptly taking the necessary legal procedures and questioning the investigation authorities in Abu Nomors Center and also the forms of the Social Security Forces for their inaction and not moving to prevent or to decrease the killing events in the village, although they previously know about such events …

5-        The state shall perform its role and activate the right of citizenship and the right of the citizens to belief and religion …

   6-        The TV Satellite Islamic Channels, should be professional and don’t allow them to circulate the hate discourse and incitement on violence.

 

Conclusion:

We can’t separate between the spread of the hate discourse against the religious minorities in Egypt in particularly the Christians, Shitte and Bahai’s, which reached the amount of that such discourse was said during the conference that was held by the President last week and during his attendance without deterring or stopping who released who said such discourse. In addition to the spread of the posters that carries a clear incitement against Shitte without the intervention from the authorities that could prevent the spread of such sectarian violence which make the president among the responsible for such event, whether by disregarding such inciting discourse or not by ending impunity.

 

 Teamwork

 

Written By:

 

Mohamed Mahmoud

Mohamed Farouk

Noureldeen Fahmy

Lawyers in the Legal Aid Unit of ANHRI

Karim Abdelrady

Legal Researcher in ANHRI