Vigilante supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi captured dozens of rival protesters in clashes in Cairo last week, beat them, and held them for hours before delivering them to police, the New York Times reports. Using tactics human rights groups say are strongly reminiscent of Hosni Mubarak's regime, the thugs tried to force their captives to confess that they had been bribed to use violence during the protests.
"It was torment for us," says a former diplomat who was held captive overnight by Muslim Brotherhood supporters. "They accused me of being a traitor, or conspiring against the country, of being paid to carry weapons and set fires," he says. "I thought I would die." Brotherhood officials say they are opposed to vigilante justice and did not organize the detention of protesters, though rights groups note that in Morsi's televised address to Egyptians last week, he appears to have referred to the forced confessions.