Of the many harrowing amateur videos to have come out of Egypt these past few days, one from Alexandria has particularly shocked Egyptians. The video, which was filmed on Friday but surfaced online on Saturday, shows several teenagers being chased by a mob of angry men onto a water tower on a rooftop. Two were thrown off the water tower and severely injured; a third was killed. FRANCE 24 spoke to the victim's father.
The young man that died was named Hamada Badr. In the video, he is seen being dragged off the water tower and beaten by a group of men, but it cuts out before he is killed.
That day in Alexandria, violent clashes had broken out between supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi and his detractors. At least 12 people were killed.
A neighbour filmed this video of the incident.
“My son wasn’t even protesting”
Mohammed Badr is Hamada’s father.
Hamada went out into the street [Editor’s Note: Mushir Street] to see what was going on. He wasn’t protesting on one side or the other. He only went about 100 metres from our house to look at the protest taking place on the cross street, which is Sidi Gaber Avenue. [Some news sites described Hamada and the other youth as anti-Morsi protesters.] I don’t know exactly what happened, but one of the kids who were with him that day told me that when the pro- and anti-Morsi protesters started clashing, a group of armed men started chasing after them. They ran into a building, locked the front gate and ran up to the roof, where they climbed up onto a water tower.Screen capture from the beginning of the video, when the four youths take refuge up on the water tower.I don’t know who the attackers were [many news sites and Internet users have described them as members of the Muslim Brotherhood, but have not offered up any proof.] I only know that one of them had a long beard and that he was carrying a black Salafi flag. [This man can be seen at several points in the video. The Muslim Brotherhood is not linked to the Salafist movement, and its members typically sport much shorter beards.] They made it up to the roof, and at one point, one of the men pulled Hamada down from the water tower. The men beat him up and stabbed him several times.This screen capture from the video shows the moment Hamada, circled in red, was pulled down by his attackers.[After Hamada was pulled down], it seems that another young man joined the teenagers up on the water tower; apparently, they helped him up. [Indeed, in the video, Hamada can be seen repeatedly holding out his hand, apparently trying to help someone, before one of the attackers grabs a hold of him. The camera then moves away, making it impossible to see exactly how the man in the yellow shirt got up onto the water tower]. I don’t know who he is. I just know that he and another one of the kids were then pushed off the water tower onto the main roof below, but survived.Screen capture from the video: An attacker pushes one of the victims off the water tower.Another kid managed to escape, after having been beaten up as well. He told me he saw the man with the Salafi flag throw my son from the roof. [Witnesses quoted by the Los Angeles Times also say he was pushed off the roof, falling five stories.]Screen capture from the video: The man carrying a Salafi flag.Hamada did not die on impact. He died three hours later, in the hospital. The man who pushed him has been arrested [Egyptian media reported his arrest], so we’re now waiting to find out more about why this happened. My son was only 19.
This video shows the scene from a different angle, and from further away. At 0'37, the attackers pull Hamada from the water tower. This video also lasts longer – all the men can be seen climbing down from the roof and leaving. However, it is impossible to tell the teenagers and the attackers apart from this distance.