egypt

egypt related blah blah

The postpone elections argument is similar to

Egypt is going to introduce nationwide cricket clubs. They are going to postpone all games until the teams are strong enough. Fans are expected to back clubs before they play any game. Before seeing how exciting the game is or which team has the better players.

That's why expecting us to back political parties and join them before they perform in parliament is rubbish.

Post-Jan25 in Minya

Since I am currently unemployed and wasting my time following the thousand or so tweets that appear every hour on my twitter account. I decided to spend time with my father getting paperwork related to several court cases done. These cases happen to be in Minya and they are related to few areas of land he refuses to give up.

The first post-Jan25 change noticeable is that in almost all villages you can see murals and graffiti honouring the martyrs and the youth of the revolution. The other thing, are the remains of illegal building on agricultural land, appearing as heap of broken down fresh white bricks in the middle of the green areas.

In the city of Minya, there are more visible signs of the state we are in. Empty hotels, intricate murals in English and Arabic about freedom, the martyrs and Egypt in all colours, army in front of government buildings, paid ads about the revolution asking people to say no to vandalism and one of the main squares in the city renamed from Midan Suzan Mubarak to Midan Shohada2(martyrs) 25 Jan. Probably renamed by the same governor who earlier renamed half of the city to Suzan Mubarak. Minya is the birthplace of the former first lady.

Otherwise, Minya didn't change much and what we've lived through in the past 3 months was mostly watched on TV. Except perhaps on the Jan 28th, I saw an armoured CSF vehicle with hundreds of tiny dents on it's body from stone throwing. Interestingly, the constant threat of thug attacks was very limited or unfelt.

What was more interesting is spending an afternoon discussing politics with people in the village of Rehana. Here is a quick summary in bullet points:

  1. Village men, some illiterate, understand politics more than people in Cairo expect them to be.
  2. Anyone affiliated to NDP and surprisingly the Muslim Brotherhood now have very little popularity.

Before pointing fingers

Two deplorable acts of violence occurred in the past two or three days against a priest who was stabbed to death in Assiut and a house owned by a Bahaai family was set alight in Sohag. The details of both events are still not known, yet people started to point blame.

Translation of a video testimony of a protester shot by the police on the 28th of January in Cairo

This a very quick translation of this video testimony that was sent to me. I think it is very important and moving.

The video is slightly graphic near the end.

My name is Mohammed el-Faramawy

I joined the marches on the Friday of Anger on the 28th of January. I had a first aid bag on my back, I took it with me to Tahrir square to treat the injured, at around 1 the army entered.

We were near the Shoura council and the army asked us to let a group of anti-riot policemen, they told us the policemen were afraid and we should let them pass so they can join other policemen near the ministry of interior so they can retreat and go back home as a group.

We made a cordon, so they can pass safely. They passed while we greeted them. As soon as they reached the other end, their police officer gave them ammunition and order them to shoot us in the back. They started shooting at everyone.

I ran, I ran with a colleagues and hid in Shoura council. We entered and security told us to hide in there and not to be afraid but from across the other end of the council someone related to the ministry of interior pointed his gun and told us to run away right now and leave or he will start shooting. We told him that they are shooting live ammunition and if we go back we will be shot.

He said I'll kill you and started shooting. We all ran away.
While running a police officer stopped us and told us to raise our arms and give him our backs. He had a shot gun. Suddenly, while giving him our backs I saw the man in front of me with a hole in his back and he dropped down dead in front of. He was martyred.

Afterwards, I tried to run away. A bullet entered my left hip. I fell to the ground and all my fellow protesters fell on top of me, exactly like dominoes or chickens falling on top of each others.

Torture and police, what now?

AlJazeera English Inside Story aired a 25 minutes interview with psychiatrist Dr. Ahmed Okasha, Hisham Safie Eldin a former police officer and Wael Omar a film maker about torture and the relationship between people and the police.

The program showed some footage of police officers and policemen protesting in the past few days. But didn't interview anyone from El Nadim centre for rehabilitation of victims of torture, which is the only centre in Egypt that worked in psychological and medical rehabilitation of victims of torture and police violence, documented incidents of torture through tens of publications and provides legal aid n(I worked there for 3 years).

Not even anyone from any human rights organisation who may have worked with victims of torture was interviewed.

This made the program overlook many aspects of why torture is systematic in the country and didn't mention any of the reports of torture in the hands of the military police that are being reported in the past few weeks.

Dr. Okasha attributed the problems to lack of trust between people and the police due to the previous practices of the police in the past. And that some officers enjoyed the torture as a form of sadism. He also went on saying that torture is enjoyable to torturers because of opiates released in the brain and so on.

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