The Muslim Brotherhood operates a carefully controlled network of torture chambers designed to violently dehumanize opponents of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, according to a journalist who exclusively toured the facilities this week.
Mohamad Jarehi, writing for the privately owned Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm, described imposing iron barriers and armed government guards who stand watch in front of the Brotherhood’s central torture facility, which is located in the Egyptian suburb of Heliopolis.
“The torture process starts once a demonstrator who opposes President Mohammed Morsi is arrested in the clashes, or is suspected after the clashes end,” Jarehi wrote, according to an English translation of Al-Masry Al-Youm’s Arabic-language article completed by the Middle Eastern media website Al-Monitor.
“Then, the group members trade off punching, kicking and beating him with a stick on the face and all over his body. They tear off his clothes and take him to the nearest secondary torture chamber.”
According to Jarehi, who spent three hours in the torture chambers with other Egypt-based journalists, the captors then begin demanding answers from their detainees. (RELATED: New York Times Cairo bureau chief says Muslim Brotherhood is “moderate, regular old political force”)
“Before the interrogation process starts, they search him, seize his funds, cellphones or ID, all the while punching and slapping his face in order to get him to confess to being a thug and working for money,” Jarehi wrote.
“They ask him why he took to the street [and] whether he got paid to take part in the protest. … As long as this person denies the allegations, they beat him and insult his parents. After that, a person will videotape the interrogation and contact the Misr 25 TV channel to tell them about the interrogation and arrest.”
Jarehi claimed to have observed numerous detainees in dire physical condition: Some were unable to speak, while others were covered in blood. Few, Jarehi claimed, received any form of medical assistance during their stay in the torture chamber.
“Once 10 people had been arrested, police officers and state security chiefs in the chamber demanded that the three Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the room secure passage for the prisoners to the nearby al-Nozha police station,” he wrote, “and prevented the Brotherhood members from attacking them again. … This all really happened. Once the arrested group left, another arrived.”
The journalist’s account comes a week after reports first surfaced that the Brotherhood is paying thugs to sexually assault women and beat men who are protesting in Tahrir Square, a major downtown gathering place in Cairo. (RELATED: Despite reports of rape and violence, 200,000 people gather in Tahrir Square to protest against Egypt’s new draft constitution)
The ongoing violence and turmoil has stoked fears that Egypt may be teetering towards civil war.
“We left the place and found blood flowing on the sidewalk of the palace,” Jarehi wrote. “Someone had tried to cover the blood with soil to remove it. However, no one will be able to clean the image of this blood from the memory of Egyptians for hundreds of years.”