Thursday, October 1, 2009

I will miss you Per Bjorklund

On Tuesday I awoke to this disturbing text message,

“Swedish Journalist & Blogger Per Bjorklund is now being held aside in a room @ Cairo Airport. Officer says his 'name is on the computer.” Legal assistance and media coverage are requested.”

I first met Per in 2007 when we were both covering a Mahalla Al-Kobra workers strike in Egypt. But it was the barbaric Israeli military onslaught on the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and the following January that brought us into more consistent contact. Our protest brought us together in a march on Gaza- I was attending, he was covering the march as a journalist- that ended in my kidnapping by Egyptian state security. My release four days later revealed the Egyptian state network’s buckling under international pressure. Three weeks ago Travis Randall was deported from Egypt- who also attended the ToGaza march in February-, on Tuesday Per was deported. The Egyptian state has something to hide and these criminal acts disrupting the lives of those that stand up for the people who state agents oppress is a further crack in the deemed edifice of what is called the ‘state.’

I will miss you Per, thank you for giving of your time and strength for people around here.

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