Man beaten by Egypt police blames protesters

Updated 03 February 2013
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Man beaten by Egypt police blames protesters

CAIRO: A man who was beaten and dragged across the ground naked by Egyptian riot police during a demonstration on Friday was shown on state television blaming the incident on demonstrators.
A video of Hamada Saber, 48, being beaten with truncheons by helmeted police has infuriated the opposition.
State television aired overnight a recording of Saber, lying on bed in a police hospital, giving his account of the incident, in which he blamed protesters for stripping and robbing him.
It was not clear how his account could be reconciled with the widely seen footage, which clearly showed police beating him with truncheons and dragging him naked across a road.
Saber said he had seen a crowd running and then felt himself shot in the leg.
“I fell over, I failed to stand up again, then they surrounded me in a circle and attacked me,” he said. The interviewer asked if he was referring to the demonstrators, and he answered: “Yes I am. They took my clothes off, maybe they were looking for money in my pockets. Then someone among them shouted: ‘He is not a soldier. He is not a soldier, he is an old man and you are going to kill him.’
“The soldiers ran toward me. I was afraid of them, but they were saying, ‘We will not beat you’. I swear to God this is what happened. I kept on running. They said again: ‘Do not be afraid.’ I kept running away and they said, ‘We are exhausted because of you’.”
Egypt’s prosecutors’ office has released a statement saying Saber denied that police had hit him. That statement was received angrily by the opposition which suspects the authorities of intimidating him to exonerate the police.
“That a citizen be dragged in a public space is a crime against humanity. That he be forced to amend his testimony before the Public Prosecution is tyranny. It has dire consequences for justice,” Nasser Amin, a prominent lawyer and campaigner for judicial independence said on Twitter.


Israel says 15 Hamas operatives arrested in West Bank raid

Updated 6 min 34 sec ago
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Israel says 15 Hamas operatives arrested in West Bank raid

JERUSALEM: The Israeli military says it has arrested 15 Hamas operatives in an overnight West Bank raid.
The military says Sunday those captured are suspected of collaborating with a well-known Hamas operative from Gaza to spread its activities to the West Bank, which is governed by the rival Fatah movement. The raid comes after Hamas accused Israel of assassinating one of its men in Malaysia and amid a wave of mass protests along the Gaza border that have turned violent.
In three weeks of protests, Israeli troops have killed 32 Palestinians and wounded some 1,600. Hamas says the protests are against a decade-long blockade of the isolated strip. Israel says it is defending its sovereign border and only targeting instigators. It says Hamas uses the protests as cover for attacks.