Egypt activist dies from Abbassiya clash

CAIRO: Mohamed Mohsen, a 24-year-old activist who participated in the Abbassiya march on the night of July 23 and who had been hospitalized since being hit in the head by a brick, was reported to have died late Wednesday evening.

Activists and colleagues blamed the barricading and the cornering of protesters by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the police who allegedly prevented Mohsen from leaving the area to receive medical assistance.

Journalist Rahsa Azab said on her twitter account that Mohsen was among the group of people she was with when a whole brick landed on his head and broke into little pieces.

Violence erupted on July 24 when the march, which began in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square arrived in the Abbasiya area near the SCAF headquarters, where activists wanted to present their demands of social justice and speedy trials of officers who opened fire on people during the Egyptian uprising.

Videos from the night showed residents on rooftops throwing bricks and rocks at protesters down below. Other groups, identified by media as “angry residents,” engaged with protesters using Molotov Cocktails, knives and swords were used. Tens of people were injured in the clashes.

Mohsen’s body will be released on Thursday at noon from the hospital and the body will be flown back to his native city of Aswan shortly thereafter.

He was student at Assiut university in Upper Egypt.

His colleagues who were by his side after he was injured, say that the security forces refused to allow them out of the “battlefield” and finally four hours later they manged to get him to a hospital. They took him to several hospitals after the facilities refused to accept him, saying there were no available beds. By the time Mohsen arrived at the Nasser Medical Institution, his head had been suffering from internal bleeding for over five hours. Doctor operated on him immediately and sucked the blood clots that had formed around his brain, but a few days later he fell into a coma that he didn’t wake up from.

Rights activists accuse the SCAF and the police of human rights violations, most recently during the forced removal of the Tahrir Square sit-in on August 1 that witnessed the military and police violently tear down tents and randomly arrest at least a 100 people and accused them of being “thugs” and outlaws. The police and military argued it had moved into action based on “citizens complaints” about the square.

The SCAF kept forces in and around the square for days and the investigative units continued searching downtown streets, looking to arrest activists or those who “appeared to be,” according to eye witnesses.

Scores of people have been arrested in the days following the clearing of the square.


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