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Busload of children caught heading to join Islamist sit-in

Mariam Rifaat

04 Aug 2013 5:56 pm

The media office at the Interior Ministry sent out a statement today announcing that two microbuses have been caught carrying 42 Egyptian children and heading to the site of the Islamist sit-in at the eastern Cairo mosque of Rabaa al-Adawiya

 
The media office at the Interior Ministry sent out a statement today announcing that two microbuses have been caught carrying 42 Egyptian children and heading to the site of the Islamist sit-in at the eastern Cairo mosque of Rabaa al-Adawiya. The statement said the buses were caught upon a tip that a number of microbus drivers were collecting children from needy neighbourhoods and carrying them off to the Rabaa sit-in.
 
Police investigations led to the 31-year-old Ahmed Youssef, a teacher at a Qr’anic school in the Giza village of Etfeeh, who was reported to be behind the bussing operation. 
In case of the two busloads caught this morning, the children came from the north Cairo district of Shubral-Kheima. The children said that Youssef collected them to allegedly fit them out with new clothes for the Eid, the feast that ends the Ramadan holy month next Thursday. The children’s parents confirmed the story, and said they understood Youssef was working for a charity that would donate new clothes for the children and return them home. 
Youssef is being prosecuted.
The Islamist Muslim Brothers, who are holding sit-ins and waging violent protests demanding the reinstatement of the ousted Islamist president Muhammad Mursi, are notorious for their use of women and children as human shields, under the pretext that once they die they will be martyrs and would go to paradise. 
Children especially have been made to march in shrouds, carrying their coffins, and chanting about their being “prospective martyrs”. The practice has brought on a pained outcry from non-Islamist Egyptians, with human and child rights organisations condemning it as against the most basic human and child rights.   
Watani International
4 August 2013


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