Al-Sisi on Bashar al-Assad’s footsteps: Security forces demolish houses of detainees in El-Basarta

In a scene, similar to Syrian Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Egypt’s military regime demolished houses belonging to opposition detainees in El-Basarta village at Damietta Governorate.

In an unprecedented move, the Egyptian security forces demolished the houses of Zakareya al-Shweikhy and Samy al-Far.

Despite the residents’ shouting, the ministry of interior carried out the demolition claiming that the houses were illegally built.

An eyewitness was astonished at what the interior ministry has done and said that what happened is the first of its kind in history, adding that these houses are not illegal but it has just occurred as a part of the retaliation process against the families of the detainees.

In this context, it seems that al-Sisi’s security forces’ policy towards El-Basarta village is part of a systematic campaign against the families of the detainees.

According to activists on the social media,the security forces have also stormed the store of “al-Sayed al-Badawy”, who has enforcedly disappeared , and they have stolen all his store’s content.

Moreover, the security forces have also stormed the house of”Belal al-Zayat”, who is sill under forced disappearance since April 29.

In October 2016, the police forces stormed El-Basarta village in Damietta governorate,targeting houses of several detainees.

Media outlets and social media pages have reported that the police forces have also set fire in some of these houses as well.

Security forces stormed the village at dawn by first surrounding it at different checkpoints, especially around exit and entry points. They then set houses on fire that were associated with former detainees.

Afterwards, forces imposed a restricted area around El-Basarta village.

Since the military coup in 2013 led by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi against Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian security forces have launched massive crackdown against political oppositions especially those affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

El-Basarta is one of several villages that have been heavily scrutinized by government forces since the ouster of Morsi and is one of the areas known to have a considerable number of Morsi supporters.

Another village that has suffered similar circumstances to El-Basarta was the El-Maymoun village in Beni Suef, which was raided in November 2014.

However, the most prominent raid took place on the village of Kerdasa, where heavy armored riot police surrounded the village and arrested dozens of civilians.

Political opposition and freedom of expression have been restricted in Egypt since the military coup in 2013. Protest is illegal in Egypt without prior permission from the Ministry of Interior. Hundreds of protesters, activists, and students are facing prison sentences on charges of defying this law.