Posts in English

On Admitting Michael Nabil to a Mental Hospital

I have to highlight how important it is that Michael Nabil is not a suspect in a violent crime. The military courts are trying him over a blog post that criticises the army, not killing or stabbing anyone.

Michael has passed the 50 days mark in his hunger strike.
Abassia hospital
He was referred to a mental hospital for observation for 45 days when his court appointed lawyers defended him saying that he is suffering from mental problems.

This is outrageous because:

  1. It politicises psychiatry,
  2. He isn't a suspect in a violent crime,
  3. Are we heading towards a society where someone who disagrees with the ruling class is stripped of his freedom and his mental/psychiatric conditions 'checked'?
  4. The hospital may get itself involved in involuntarily breaking his hunger strike.

The Abbaseya mental Hospital should have refused taking Michael Nabil in.

Without delving into the conditions of his stay inside the criminal suspects wards. This is abuse by the military court, which the Hospital has just become a partner in.

Today the media department of the General Secretariat of Mental Health released the following statement. Here is a snippet.

Graffiti artist arrested & referred to military prosecution

Graffiti artist Aly el-Halabi was arrested & referred to military prosecution. He is being held for 7 days pending investigations.The artist is also an activist in the 6th of April movement.

Guardian: Cairo witnesses blame security forces for bloodshed at Coptic march

Many people were screaming, women were crying and running almost immediately and add to that the fact once the beating started with sticks, within a few minutes we started hearing gunfire which it seems like – from some of the casualties I saw – were not blank rounds.

They were live rounds being used very, very quickly. It was an incredibly violent show of force … it was chaos for a while.

Sarah Carr's account of the Maspero Massacre

And then it happened: an APC mounted the island in the middle of the road, like a maddened animal on a rampage. I saw a group of people disappear, sucked underneath it. It drove over them. I wasn’t able to see what happened to them because it then started coming in my direction.

Read it here.

You can also listen to her account of what happened in a phone interview with CBC radio.

6 million in Tahrir

Or rather 6 images of million man marches* (millionyyat) super-imposed on each other.

This was created with a Gimp plug-in that I wrote. This has a limitation of superimposing up to 100 photos.

Here are other samples created by the plug-in.

Killing of protesters continues

فجر السبت 10 سبتمبر عقب أحداث أقتحام السفارة الأسرائلية
القتلة,طبقا لشهود العيان هم عساكر الأمن المركزي.

ثلاث شهداء سقطوا في هذا اليوم، شهود عيان آخرين قالوا انهم شاهدوا سيرات الأمن المركزي تسرع وتدهس المتظاهرين

رد فعل الحكومة الأنتقالية لكل هذا هو اعادة تفعيل و توسيع بنود قانون الطوارئ

6 months ago...

This is a phone interview recorded with Margaret Prescod of Radio KPFK on the 2nd of February at around 3pm that day.

The phone call is super imposed on videos I took with Sarah Carr's flip camera.

One of the shots was taken by Youssef Faltas.

Hossam Bahgat: Restructuring the Entrenched Security Apparatus

Khaled Said 2

I remember when I first heard about Khaled Said's case. I didn't take notice of the name. Mohamed Abdel Aziz, the young and brilliant Nadim lawyer, sent and internal email saying that he contacted the family of a young man in Alexandria who they claim died from torture but the police says he fell from an ambulance stretcher.

Khaled Said

Honestly, I hoped that the police's story is correct. It was going to be another statement by the centre that will receive 300 hits and perhaps mentioned in one or two newspaper. I really wished it wouldn't be yet another family suffering a loss due to the brutality of the plague that is Egypt's police. Perhaps the family is mistaken. Will wait for more details.

Then Ayman Nour posted the photos released by the family before and after Khaled's death. This started an explosive response online. Specifically Facebook, where the We are all Khaled Said page became the nucleus. Everyone changed their profile picture to that of Khaled and joined the page (and other copycat pages).

I felt jealous about the response to Khaled Said's case. We had lots of other victims of torture who weren't dead who have gone through horrible experiences and were willing to speak about what happened to them. And others who lost relatives and the biggest exposure they got was from a small press conference in Hisham Mubarak law centre. In fact, after Khaled Said, there were others who sustained gruesome torture and didn't get the same response. We had photos of their bodies, videos of their testimonies, etc.. nothing received such response.

Quick comment on the Gallup poll

The Gallup poll on Egypt after Jan25 doesn't mention if the selection of face-to-face interviewees involved any form of randomisation. Yet, the American sample involved random digit dialling.

Information on the methods used is inadequate. We can't say the sample interviewed was representative and results generalisable without more information.

I hope they will publish something in the next few days with more details regarding the methodology.