Egyptian vigilantes beat, hang 2
CAIRO — Egyptian vigilantes beat two men accused of stealing a motorized rickshaw on Sunday and then hanged them by their feet while some in a watching crowd chanted “kill them!” Both men died, security officials said.
The killings occurred a week after the attorney general's office encouraged civilians to arrest lawbreakers and hand them over to police. They are emblematic of the chaos sweeping Egypt and a security breakdown of frightening proportions.
It was one of the most extreme cases of vigilantism in two years of sharply deteriorating security after the 2011 uprising. Gruesome photos circulated quickly on Facebook and other social media outlets, showing images taken by people in the crowd of thousands who watched and recorded the lynchings on cellphone cameras.
The killings were in the town of Samanod, about 55 miles north of Cairo in the Nile Delta province of Gharbiya.
Mamdouh al-Muneer, spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood group in the Gharbiya governorate, said that the lynchings followed a spate of rapes in the area. He said there have been a number of incidents in the past several months of girls being abducted while leaving school.
“Unfortunately, the police are completely out of the picture in Gharbiya,” he said.
The Brotherhood is the country's dominant political group.
Egypt is mired in another wave of protests, clashes and unrest that have plagued the country since the ouster of authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak in the pro-democracy uprising two years ago.
This wave of unrest has also engulfed the nation's police force. Thousands of officers and low-ranking policemen have broken ranks, staging protests and waging strikes against what they say is the politicization of the force by President Mohamed Morsy, who came from the Muslim Brotherhood.
The state-run newspaper Ahram reported on its website that the events in Samanod began when the two men were dragged in the street after being caught “red-handed” trying to steal a motorized rickshaw. Witnesses said they were also accused of kidnapping a girl inside the rickshaw, but that she escaped unharmed.
“The lack of security has created a sense of terror here,” one witness said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.
The government's call for citizen arrests a week ago was prompted by the police strike and deteriorating security. Opponents fear that this is a prelude to the substitution of police by militias, including those belonging to other Islamist groups allied with Morsy and the Islamic fundamentalist Brotherhood.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Suicide bombs in Nigeria kill 82; ex-leader targeted
- 47 killed in Taiwan plane crash; 11 hurt
- 2 Ukrainian military fighter jets shot down
- Militants capture Syrian gas field in fierce fighting
- Russia says it will block 13 Americans, including lawmaker, from entering country
- ‘Explosion of evil’ in Europe against Jews condemned
- Putin’s stance on Ukraine is bad for business, Russian billionaires say
- Ban of flights to and from Israel feared to bolster Hamas
- Amid attacks, Afghan recount begins
- Credible probe sought in downing of Malaysian jet
- From nun to AIDS expert, Ukraine crash kills hundreds