Mortal breathes & immortal Questions which may never be answered!

What’s the meaning of a 30 years “Emergency”?


Through the past two week, I have been hesitating about whether to write this post or not, not to mention I didn’t have the time to do it.

Despite criticism of some friends and fellows, from the beginning (and believe me I knew about this tragic incident from the early beginning, specifically since Wednesday mid day), I made it a point NOT to take part in the public frenzy following this incident that shocked the nation.

Khaled Said’s brutal death (aka the Alexandria Martyr, the Martyr of Emergency law & the Police victim), has become a phenomena, and it’s fallout is threatening the very system established and maintained by this government for the past 30 years, no Egyptian can ignore this incident now.

Yet I had my reasons to stay out of the ongoing commotion:

Ever since I received the mail (before facebook catches on) containing Khalid’s post-mortem photos I had an eerie feeling about the incident. At first glance, I was in shock and disbelief, I actually thought it was a hoax of some sort, because the post-mortem images bore little or no resemblance of the smart looking young man in the pre-torture photo.

Then later on when I read the news and confirmed it from many sources, I was infuriated, but instantly and simultaneously I started questioning the details of the incident.

Early on, ever since the story was first published, it was clear that the opposition papers and commentators were trying to exploit the story to their advantage (and I cannot blame them for that), therefore the story coming from the opposition media was full of emotions and it’s narrative glorified the deceased young man, beyond reasonable limits.

Meanwhile the Government and its tainted media stayed silent in the beginning, ignoring the incident altogether (in a vain hope that if they act as if it didn’t happen it would go away), but then faced with the rage which literally gripped the nation, they went on a “full defense“ mode and started negating the opposition’s story with the most comical and ridiculous stories.

That is why I’ve been staying at bay from this particular debate, so as not to fall in the pit of taking sides, especially that this would be really easy given how critical I am of the government, and the amount of lies and misinformation surrounding this sad incident.

Instead, I waited as the fury, anger and heated emotions cooled (at least just a little bit) and was also waiting in the vain hope that the government, under national and international pressure as it is, would open an impartial investigation that would shed more light on what really took place during that most unfortunate night.

Well, yesterday, the “final” forensics report confirmed the findings of the first autopsy, stating the following, and I quote: “The victim had died of asphyxiation rather than as a result of police brutality.” The report continues, to state that Saeed “had choked to death on a foreign body.” and it identifies the “foreign body” in question as a packet of Marijuana (7.5 long and 2.5 cm wide), which had lodged in the victim’s throat and prevented him from breathing. The report strongly suggests that the death had been accidental.

Personally, I expected this exact report!

I was hoping for a different one, but deep down I knew that this was going to happen.
However the “final” report doesn’t not answer the questions that I was pondering ever since I heard about Khaled’s death, which are:

1. According to eye witnesses, this guy was grabbed from the back, so when exactly did he take out the pack of cannabis? (not to mention shove it down his throat!)
2. More importantly how did he manage to swallow a 2.5 wide, 7.5 long object, without any “lubricants”?!!
3. If they saw him do that, why didn’t they try to stop him or make him spit it?
4. If he was choking on a pack of cannabis, or on anything, why didn’t they call the ambulance or try to rescue him on the spot?
5. If he did in fact did swallow the pack, how come it took him 15-20 minutes to choke and die on it?
6. And what took place during those 15-20 minutes if they were not hitting him to death? Were they holding his hands and patting his back while he choked to death???
7. Since when did drug dealers leave their houses with just one pack of cannabis?
8. Is there any other evidence to back the official claim that he is a drug dealer? Where is the rest of his stash? Did they find any drugs when they searched his apartment? Did they search his apartment at all to start with?
9. Why did they take him to the police station?
10. More importantly, what happened there??? What took place in those 10-20 minutes after Khaled vanished into the police car, with no eye witnesses watching?
11. Why did they bring him back and throw him in the street? If there was no wrong doing on the part of the police, why did they bring him back? Wouldn’t it be logical to call the ambulance to pick him up from the police station, and document the whole process to prove that there was no wrong doing on behalf of the police???

The FINAL official report ignores all these questions, just like it ignored the questions and queries put forth by Khaled’s lawyers.

And based on this “conclusive“ forensic report, I suspect that the ongoing investigation by the attorney general, will not include any new findings or condemnations.
SO the official narrative will remain the same: Khaled was an unemployed, drug addict & drug dealer, who resisted arrest, and he fully deserves what happened to him.

Despite all the anger and public rage…
Against all evidence…
Ignoring our intelligence as well as our emotions…
Our government remains defiant!

الحمد لله قانون الطوارئ اقتصر على الارهاب والمخدرات..وبكده القانون هيدي الحق للمعتقل انه يختار يكون ارهابي ولا تاجر مخدرات
– A friend’s status update

OK! Suppose he was really a: 7ashash, dealer, we 3atel
Does that give our vigilant police the right to torture him?

If so, then given the unemployment rates which this government have miraculously achieved, and given the unprecedented rates of drug consumption in Egypt, then easily more than half of the population should be tortured along with Khaled.
Suppose that the torture really did not lead to his death, and swallowing a Package of cannabis did -although I personally can hardly swallow the story, that a young man, with no significant crime record despite what the police wants us to believe, would try and succeed in swallowing a pack of cannabis without so much as even a glass of water! maybe if they said a piece of Hash (Hashish) it would have been more logical, but given the hash crisis I suppose they had to do with what’s available!

Anyhow suppose it is true, and he did swallow it, would you not agree that torturing the poor guy was kind of an obstacle in the way of giving him proper medical care? I mean how can they give him a CPR when they are too busy banging his head to the wall!!!!

There is no doubt in my mind that this is crime by all standards, even if he was the most notorious drug dealer in Egypt, and a Rapist, Terrorist, child abuser, all at once… he should have stood trial and not die in an alley in this inhuman tragic way.

The Police brutalty we are witnessing right now is a byproduct of 30 years of emergency law, and giving the police absolute and unchecked power to detain and “interrogate “ any given suspect in order to preserve the system…

Our police became so “efficient “ in the realm of torturing people (innocent or not), to the extent that all through Iraq war, the US was outsourcing it’s “terror detainee “ to be tortured in Egypt!

Now the System’s control system (the Police), have gone beyond the control of the system (the government)!

The current government cannot afford to keep ignoring the nation’s rage over this incident and all the others… they cannot keep treating the public as if they are 7 years old..

The questions surrounding Khaled’s death must be answered, because all the evidence points out that something very very very wrong went down on that night… and, given the long bloody history of police torture in this nation, until all the circumstances surrounding Khaled’s death are fully revealed and all those involved are held accountable, the people of this nation have all the right to be very very very angry…

I would like to see those responsible for this tragic incident being held accountable for it, to the highest level, but we both know this is too farfetched.

AND supposing he was innocent, I would like to see them burn!

More on the tragic death of Khaled Said

Egyptian military students attack a Police station!!!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “mayo police rndm1“, posted with vodpod

BBC: Egypt army cadets attack police

Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Magdi Abdelhadi, BBC Arab Affairs Analyst, wrote:

“Egyptian army cadets in plain clothes have been filmed pelting a police station with stones in a town south of the capital Cairo.

Mobile phone footage was posted by Misrdigital, a blog campaigning against police brutality and corruption.

One sequence showed the cadets trying to overturn a car, said to belong to the chief district police officer.

They were reportedly taking revenge for the alleged abuse by the police of one of their colleagues.

Newspaper editors have told the BBC they received clear orders from the army not to publish any details of the incident, which happened on Sunday evening.

The army remains an off-limit topic for an otherwise vociferous independent media in Egypt. Those who violate the taboo can risk imprisonment….

One commentator, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the incident showed the extent of chaos in Egypt, where even army cadets who are supposed to show restraint and discipline can behave like a mob. It also showed that extent of resentment all Egyptians, including members of the armed forces, feel toward the police in Egypt, he added.”

The Police station is located in 15th of Mayo, South of Cairo.

Sober’s Comment:

These are the future safe-keepers of Egypt and it’s glorious army, attacking an Egyptian police station inside Egypt!
If that’s not the highest act of treason, then what is?

And how does the government re-act? by banning the newspapers from writing about the incident! Democracy at it’s best!

The 6th of April: Gunpowder, treason and plot

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I first heard of yesterday’s failed “National strike” on March 24th, through a blog post on a friend of a friend’s blog, this guy was going on about why he will not be participating in yesterday’s strike, but mind this guy, I too decided that I will have none of it, but for different reasons.

The invitation to the strike read:

“All national forces in Egypt have agreed upon the 6th of April to be a public strike.
On the 6th of April, stay home, do not go out; Don’t go to work, don’t go to the university, don’t go to school, don’t open your shop, don’t open your pharmacy, don’t go to the police station, don’t go to the camp;
We need salaries allowing us to live, we need to work, we want our children to get education, we need human transportation means, we want hospitals to get treatment, we want medicines for our children, we need just judiciary, we want security, we want freedom and dignity, we want
apartments for youth;
We don’t want prices increase, we don’t want favoritism, we don’t want police in plain clothes, we don’t want torture in police stations, we don’t want corruption, we don’t want bribes, we don’t want detentions.
Tell your friends not to go to work and ask them to join the strike.”

Which sound pretty good, in concept! But, first things first, what is a strike?

A strike is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal by employees to perform work. It is illegal or partially illegal in most parts of the world.

A general strike is a strike action by a critical mass of citizens in a city, region or country. It can be for political goals, economic goals, or both, it tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants. It is very rare to occur and the successful or notable ones are only handful of ones.

These two are forms of direct action, which is basically a form of political activism which seeks immediate direct changes to social injustice, as opposed to indirect actions which is mainly participating in elections.

The main problem with direct action is that it includes both, nonviolent and violent activities. And in a society like ours (and actually most societies), it usually takes the later form. Remember what happened in France a couple of years ago?

And that is why I deemed yesterdays strike will be a failure, simply because:

1. With the current lack of true political awareness, things were bound to go wrong.

2. It seemed very unlikely to succeed in achieving anything as the invitations for the strike was targeted at members of the middle class and upper middle class, via mobile phones, e-mails & facebook invitations!

3. As much as I resent the government (and all governments for that matter) I’m not going to be someone else’s doll.

And I believe that that is what was taking place; the strike was called (outside Egypt) “the Kefaya general strike”. And I hate the fact that someone or some organization would exploit the latest national strife on account of achieving their own goals and hidden agendas.

The strike invitation listed that the strike was “scheduled” after a meeting held and represented by Egyptian people forces: Ghazl Al-Mahala workers (who are striking since last year expressing their demands to increase their wages to be in line with price hikes, their strikes were followed by a series of strikes by many working sectors in Egypt); Al-Karama Party; Al-Wasat Party; Labor Party; Kefaya Movement; the Bar Association; Educational Workers Movement; Grain Mills Workers; they expect a positive response regarding Muslim Brotherhood participation and support in the strike.

However it didn’t list one party of those mention above as the leader or main “inciter” of the strike, not to mention that there was no single unified set of goals or demands that the strike aims to achieve! The ones written in the invitation are so broad and vague, they can’t possibly all be met as a result of a limited strike!

Why this strike was bound to fail in my opinion is, that outside Cairo and 4 or 5 other major cities, no one even heard of the so called general strike, and even in the cities that did, citizens beyond a certain payroll didn’t hear or care about that strike. (and these are the people who are actually standing in the bread queues)

The strike was not organized action, and in a lot of its aspect a continuation of INACTION.

For the most part, people who participated in yesterday’s events, didn’t have any idea on what they were participating in, didn’t have a clear outline of what they should do, and more importantly didn’t have a goal or set of objective that they hope to achieve by their strike.

Thus it lacked all the forms of civil disobedience, it was not a successful general strike, nor was it a public demonstration. It didn’t convey any message to anyone. And the real people of Egypt, (most of which don’t have an email or facebook account) were not affected or even emotionally touched by the strike.

What the strike was however, is a meaningless and tasteless half cooked meal of half strike/half demonstration and combo police force. It was a boring episode that didn’t catch the attention of anyone on the 9 o’clock news. And at the end of day, was reduced to another set of disturbing pictures that are circulated by email, to prove how bad our government is, which we already know!

I don’t claim to know the solution to our national strife, I don’t claim that I offer a better solution, however, based on personal experience, I know that lacking organization and ideology, civil disobedience is often reduced to a band of barbaric mob, and I know that the hard way.

And this I don’t approve of, and will not take part in.

If you really want to be positive, and show your solidarity with the people of your country, consider “charity” and if that’s not enough for you and you feel that you are bigger and more capable than that, lead and ORGANIZE a “Peaceful Revolution”, a people’s revolution, and then and only then, I guarantee you will get the Egyptian people on board as well as myself.

With that said, and because i hate to be a disappointment to the readers, here are the circulated photos of yesterday’s unfortunate events.

Torture in Egypt

So finally, the state acts. They arrest 180 students, 3 university professors and some of the Ikhwan leaders. Nothing new, nothing unexpected. The same way that we’ve been dealing with “them” for the past 50 years.

The students will be tortured. And if you haven’t seen the latest torture videos, you better do:

http://blip. tv/file/109092

http://misrdigital. blogspirit. com/

And eventually, in two, three, five years they will be released. And those who will get out will no longer be those who went in. they will be remains of human – 7otaam aadameyya – most of them will be destroyed enough, both physically and psychologically to do anything in life. But some will still have the resistance and spirit inside them – only fueled with more anger at their whole society. Those are the ones who will want to take revenge. They will go back to their own organization, and will either spin off their small groups that are more violent and aggressive; groups that want to revenge from those who tortured them, and from the whole society that stood there in apathy or some time cheering. Those will be the next generation of the takfeer wel hegra, al-jehaad; etc.

And the ones who were completely destroyed, who are those? Those are the most active youth; they are the student leadership; they are the ones who “really care” enough to do something; they are the ones who are popular and able to organize students and lead them; they are the ones who could, and should’ve been the leaders of the student unions, and in the future, the political leaders. Now they are systematically crushed at every stage. And those who stay are the hypocrites and stooges. And they grow to become the political leaders of the NDP and the likes.

Isn’t this what happened in the 50’s and 60’s? The exact same scenario. And what was the outcome? Two decades of a near “civil war” in Egypt between 1981 when Sadaat was assassinated, till the mid nineties. There was more than 10,000 Egyptians killed. Some at attacks by violent groups against banks, Churches, cinemas, video stores, embassies, government agencies, or hotels. But most were by Security forces – Amn El-Dawla. Complete villages in Upper Egypt where burned or put under siege and curfew; thousands of acres of crops like maze or sugarcane, where people could easily hide, were burned to create “clear” buffer zones around roads or railways; hundreds of thousands where arrested and jailed without trials, with maybe 30,000 or more still in prisons today; secret assassination squads to targeted specific leaders. Today, the state security forces – Amn El-Dawla – outnumber the Egyptian Army. They are something in the order of one million soldiers. This is simply saying that the state has more enemies inside than outside.

Most of the younger generation does not remember what Cairo streets used to look like without the black uniformed Amn El-Dawla. But there was a day where the streets were different. Then there was an attack on an embassy; and the next day, all the embassies were surrounded by barracks and troops. Then there was an attack on a cinema, and a video store. Then there was an attack on a Church, and all churches had barracks and troops around them. Then there was an attack on a bank in Mohandeseen, and the same thing happened. Then there was an attack on tourists in a hotel in Al-haram, and all hotels started putting metal detectors and barracks. 10 years later, we are living in a city of barracks, metal detectors, black uniformed men in every block, ugly trucks filled with people with machine guns at every corner, and a culture of fear that is getting closer to that of the West Bank and Gaza .

It is starting to feel that we’re living under occupation.

And talking of occupation, what is the only success case that people are talking about of how to get rid of occupation? It’s Hizballah. So is it a surprise to see them being the model for the next episode?

Haven’t we learned anything from the past 50 years?