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Roots of The Egyptian Struggle: One Year Ago Today

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DET IRONSIDE, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. DET IRONSIDE

    DET IRONSIDEActive Member Forum Member


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    May 8, 2011
     
    Exactly one year ago today Egyptian police murdered Khaled Said in the street outside his house. Many of you may already know this but I feel it would be nice to remember this a year on and have a read and a think about how struggles like this grow and gain strength and support and also to criticise and reflect on what has happenned. A lot of this info is just lifted straight from various web sources but I decided not to cite any.

    On June 6, 2010, Saeed had been sitting on the second floor of a cybercafe. Two detectives from the Sidi Gaber police station entered the premises and arrested him. Multiple witnesses testified that Saeed was beaten to death by the police, who reportedly hit him and smashed him against objects as he was led outside to their police car. The owner of the internet cafe in which Saeed was arrested stated that he witnessed Saeed being beaten to death in the doorway of the building across the street after the detectives took him out of the cafe at the owner's request. in an interview with the opposition party, El-Ghad's, newspaper, a witness described,

    This description given by the owner was confirmed by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights.
    Egypt cafe owner describes police beating death", The San Diego Union-Tribune

    The police reported that Saeed suffocated in an attempt to swallow a packet of hashish, a claim supported by two autopsy reports made by Forensic Authorities.

    [​IMG]

    When Saaed's family visited his body in the morgue, his brother snapped pictures of the corpse using his mobile phone. The photo of Saeed's corpse was released onto the internet by Saeed's family in June of 2010, causing a large outcry. Human Rights Watch released a press report about the photo that stated, "Photos of Said's battered and deformed face published on the internet show a fractured skull, dislocated jaw, broken nose, and numerous other signs of trauma" and also that the image clearly showed "strong evidence that plainclothes security officers beat him in a vicious and public manner.

    Former chief medical examiner of Egypt, Ayman Fouda, was interviewed about the proper procedure that should have been followed for Saeed's autopsy. He stated that the "mechanics of the injuries" that Saeed had sustained should have been investigated and his brain should have also been tested to see whether he had had a concussion, as the medical examiner that had conducted the autopsy had done neither.

    The two police officers were later jailed for four days pending questioning on beatings that they allegedly carried out on Saeed. Saeed's family members stated that Saeed's death was "tortured to death for possessing video material that implicates members of the police in a drug deal."

    At the time, peaceful protests were met with violence from Mubarak's regime & his thugs in the police force. Egyptian atcivists began silent stands against the police, instead of protests, young Egyptians dressed in black stood everywhere in Egypt silently & sad for what their country has become.

    This video was one of the first made for Khaled Said & has footage from the silent stands of the anti-police brutality campaign We Are All Khaled Said that began the demonstrations which led to Tahrir Square.

    (Watch on youtube and press CC for English subtitles)

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDmbK2oEobU[/video]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDmbK2oEobU

    The investigation into Saeed's death yielded 300 papers, analysis and testimony which informed the decision to charge both police officers, Mahmoud Salah Mahmoud and Awad Ismael Suleiman, in criminal court with use of violence and unjustified detention of the victim. They were detained in July 2010, and the trial began in July but was postponed and did not resume until February 2011. The Alexandria Criminal Court will announce on June 30 the verdict on the case.

    Among those who saw the photo, was Google marketing executive Wael Ghonim. Ghonim was located in Dubai at the time of the incident and decided to create a Facebook memorial page for Saeed, called "We are all Khaled Said". The page attracted hundreds of thousands of followers, becoming Egypt's biggest dissident Facebook page. Support for Saeed rapidly spread, with many Facebook members using his photograph for their own profiles.

    Because of the photo and the heavy amount of international criticism that arose from the incident, the Egyptian government consented to a trial for the two detectives involved in his death. It was Ghonim who first published a call to protest on January 25th, to the followers of his blog, and protesters carried banners and posters displaying the photograph of Saaed's corpse. It was these protests that led the movement to build a popular resistance against the Mobarek regime and ultimately in his ousting, almost days after the fall of Ben Ali in Tunisia. People thought Mobarek would be much harder to remove than the unstable Ben Ali in the relatively small Tunisia, but it became apparent that the will of the Egyptian people was strong enough to remove him through unarmed direct action on the streets around the country. Recently there has been destabilisation of the movement with ethnikc attacks on Coptic Christians but the popular movement is seeking to invoke the spirit of unity illustrated in Tahrir Square when Christians protected Muslims from the police and vice versa during Friday and Sunday prayers.

    After Tunisia and Egypt hope spread around the region and resistance continues today in Libya with armed conflict and civil war where a popular movement based in Benghazi have advanced further West than before but with a NATO backing that many find compromising, in Yemen where President Saleh was rushed to hospital in Saudi Arabia after the presidential palace was attacked, in Bahrain where the governemnt has since March 14 invited in Saudi armed forces to kill its rebelling citizens and in Syria where there is a foreign media blackout, numerous bloggers/activists are reported missing and (just like in most countries where there is rebellion) civilians are being slaughtered every day.
     

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