Missing Egyptian activist found ‘naked, tortured’ in desert, says was abducted

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An Egyptian opposition activist, who had been missing since earlier this week, was found by police naked, bound and injured in the desert.

Ibrahim Hanafi was found with marks on his body, which indicated he had been tortured, according to local newspaper Egypt Independent.

“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.

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.

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 criticizing 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 monopolize power.

Mursi’s supporters and opposition groups organized rival rallies on Friday.

Clashes erupted between Egyptian protesters and police where hundreds opposed to President Mursi had rallied on Friday outside El-Quba, one of the presidential palaces in the northern suburbs of Cairo.

The protesters, who numbered several hundred by early afternoon, clashed with police after sunset, some used Molotov cocktails and police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

Recent protests have routinely turned violent, with government buildings, police stations and the presidential palace coming under fire from petrol bombs and rocks.

Earlier, protesters had chanted down Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the party from which he descends, and called for his resignation.