Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy’s campaign announced on Wednesday its members are being arrested and assaulted, among other violations nationwide.
Students Ahmed Teama and Mohamed Refae, who were working as part of Sabahy’s campaign at Mansoura University, were arrested in front of the university “among random arrests during students protests inside the university,” according to a campaign statement.
“They were charged with possessing Molotov cocktails, which is not true,” said Heba Yassin, media spokesperson for the Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby (Popular Current) political coalition, which Sabahy heads.
Four campaign coordinators, Amali Mohamed, Ibrahim Mohamed, Sohair Al-Barbari, and Islam Nabil, were assaulted in Heliopolis court while they were helping citizens file signatures supporting Sabahy. Supporters of former defence minister Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi stole and tore up the signed documents they had collected, tore the campaign’s banners, smashed their cameras, and erased photographs from their memory cards.
Al-Barbari said she was verbally assaulted by a group of female Al-Sisi supporters, who also insulted Sabahy.
On Tuesday, two other campaign members, Lawyer Zeyad Al-Bakri and media and students coordinator Mohamed Al-Lali were assaulted and then arrested in Port Said governorate, the campaign reported.
They were assaulted by the “A Nation’s Future” campaign, which supports Al-Sisi. When A Nation’s Future campaign members recognised the group as Sabahy supporters, they insulted and beat them, Yassin said. “Instead of finding out who caused the clash, [security forces] arrested them [Al-Bakri and Al-Lali],” she said.
Managers and employees at several notary publics refused to file signatures for Sabahy, and there were violations and delays in the signature filing procedures, according to a Tuesday statement.
In Luxor Governorate, Sabahy’s campaign said Al-Sisi supporters collected national IDs and filed signatures without the presence of the IDs’ owners. Police were contacted, but did not intervene, according to the campaign, and the violations continued the following day.
Al-Sisi supporters were giving citizens EGP 50 in exchange for signatures, according to the statement.
Sabahy’s campaign reported that the two signature “machines” in Al-Daqahleya Governorate were both reserved for Al-Sisi, instead of one for each candidate. The Egyptian consulate in Paris and the Egyptian Embassy in Beirut did not accept Egyptians’ signatures on time, according to the statement.
“There are violations in most governorates,” asserted Yassin.
Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby said Sabahy said the “bias” of some notary publics threatens the presidential election’s seriousness. He blamed the government and the ministry of justice for the campaign violations, asking the Ministry of Interior to protect the notary publics.
Sabahy’s campaign began collecting signatures for endorsement for his candidacy in various governorates Tuesday. Al-Sisi campaign’s campaign also kicked off on Tuesday. The two are the only official candidates running in the May presidential elections.