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Egyptian says he was abducted for anti-Islamist work

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 15 Feb 2013 18:50 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Recasts with activist's own version of events)

CAIRO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - An Egyptian opposition activist said on Friday he had been abducted by men who threatened him over his anti-Islamist activities, tied his hands and scalded his back with hot water before dumping him in a remote area.

Ibrahim Hanafi had been working with the Freedom Front for Peaceful Change, collecting evidence of what he saw as "violations" by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that backs President Mohamed Mursi.

"They blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back ... They told me to stay away from the Muslim Brotherhood and politics and said that was a warning," Hanafi told Reuters. He said he had been abandoned with ripped clothes in a remote area outside Cairo.

A Muslim Brotherhood spokesman said the group had nothing to do with the attack, or any involvement in other "indecent cases". A security source confirmed that Hanafi had been found beaten and tied up.

Opposition activists say a number of campaigners have been attacked in recent months after criticising the Islamist-led government that came in after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, who had repressed Islamist groups.

Hanafi said he had been abducted on Thursday night. A fellow activist earlier said he had been taken four days ago, but Hanafi said he had been at home for part of that time with his phone switched off.

Around 60 people have been killed since late January in unrest touched off by the second anniversary of the uprising, much of it the result of protests by those who accuse Mursi of hijacking the revolution and seeking to monopolise power.

Mursi's supporters and opposition groups organised rival rallies on Friday. (Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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