NSF condemns Friday violence, points finger at Brotherhood

Egypt’s opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, condemned the violence between supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood at the Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters on Friday.

The opposition group said that the violent confrontations were triggered by the Brotherhood, when its supporters attacked protesters at the presidential palace in December, where deadly clashes ensued.

“We condemn violence against citizens or property and we will not remain silent against excessive violence by security forces, nor against violence by individuals belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood or other far-right religious groups,” said a statement by the NSF on the violent clashes on Friday that left at least 100 injured from both sides.

“Such groups were involved in attacking peaceful protesters in front of the presidential palace [in December]. They were also the ones who besieged the High Constitutional Court and the media production city, as well as stormed a number of party and newspapers headquarters [in the past months].”

Activists issued the call to protest on Friday after Muslim Brotherhood members and guards reportedly attacked a group of anti-Brotherhood protesters and graffiti artists outside the Islamist group’s headquarters a week before. Several political parties and movements announced during the week leading up to Friday that they would participate in the demonstrations.

The NSF in its statement condemned such attacks and labelled them a “new black chapter in the history of far-right religious groups.”

The front also rejected earlier statements made by the Brotherhood’s secretary-general Mahmoud Hussein, who said at a press conference Saturday that the Brotherhood members could have “eaten [protesters] without weapons” but did not retaliate “for the sake of the greater good.”

“Among the Brotherhood’s secretary-general’s statements was one to the effect that one member of his group is equal to a hundred of its opponents. This is a clear reflection of how the Brotherhood ignores the fact that all Egyptians should be equal and their blood is dear regardless of their political or religious affiliations,” the statement said.

The front stated that impunity is a key factor in why violent episodes keep recurring in the country, and called for a “serious and impartial” investigation into all the past incidents of violence which have occurred intermittently in Cairo and several other governorates since December.

Egypt’s Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah had ordered Saturday the opening of investigations into a complaint filed by lawyers representing the Muslim Brotherhood against 14 political figures and parties accused of inciting violence against the Islamist group following Friday’s clashes.