Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ahmed Sha'ban's Uncle Believed Kidnapped

Mohamed Abdel Fattah has received a call one hour ago from Ahmed Sha'ban's cousin, his father- who spoke out in the video in my last post- has disappeared. The family believes the Ministry of Interior to have kidnapped him.

This is the consequence for those who speak out against police violence and government corruption in this country.

Here another report from John Jensen and Ian Lee from Daily News Egypt:

Once Again: Egyptian Police Torture To Death

The information gathered from blogs and videos of interviews with Sha'ban's family members:

Ahmed Sha'ban was on his way to a wedding, when he got into an argument with a police officer he was taken into the infamous sidi gaber police station. I have carried out interviews with victims of that same station, where a rule of law seems to exist that is determined at will by the officers who run the station.

Ahmed's family members searched for him and asked for his whereabouts at the sidi gaber police station but were informed he was not there. After three days an anonymous called contacted Sha'ban's family and informed them that the 19 year old's body was found in a nearby stream and that they suspect suicide. In the morgue the family found his skull cracked open and his body bruised. The family and lawyer believe him to have been tortured in sidi gaber police station. The case very reminiscent of a similar case of Khaled Said earlier this year.

Here a video with Ahmed Sha'ban's relatives, partial translation in English follows:

@ 2:30 A friend of Ahmed's: we buried him but we are not at ease, his rights are lost.

@ 2:50 Ahmed's uncle: occupation is lighter, we want to know when will we be liberated from them, this police. What is the police's role? To stand with us and govern us with justice or to take us and kill us?

@3:00 Ahmed's uncle: President Mubarak you are sleeping and the world is turned upside down and you know how things are being run around here. It is impossible that you do now know what is going on... mercy you don't know what it is. You employ people to threaten us so that you can sit on your chairs, while we are being killed while you can rule us. We going to liberate our country, these are going to liberate it, we have an occupation, we are going to go run after the people, you just flee every time. When will you leave president Mubarak, when will you and your cronies leave us. What are you and all your ministers doing? You have been there for years and have done absolutely nothing. You carry out injustice, this boy you killed him.

@ 3:55 A friend of Ahmed's: when we went to ask about Ahmed at the police station we heard 70 other voices crying out, "enough," "enough, we haven't done anything, this is evil."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

المركز المصرى للحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية يلاحق المجلس القومى للأجور لزيادة الحد الأدنى

أقام صباح اليوم المركز المصري للحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية الدعوى رقم 4242 لسنة 65 قضائية أمام محكمة القضاء الادارى موكلا عن الصحفية أمنية شكر والطالبه هند محمود والعامل ناجى رشاد ضد رئيس الجمهورية، ورئيس الوزراء، ووزير التنمية الاقتصادية طعنا على قرار المجلس القومي للأجور بزيادة الحد الأدنى للأجر الشامل إلى 400 جنيه فقط.

وذكر المركز في طعنه أن القرار إلتف على أحكام القضاء، ونصوص الدستور والقانون لسببين:

السبب الأول: عندما أعلن هذا المبلغ باعتباره حدا للأجر الشامل حيث طالب المركز باعتبار هذا المبلغ حدا للأجر الأساسي، وذهب إلى أن الأجر الشامل لا يمكن تحديده بقرار لأنه يتضمن جزء متغير(العلاوات والبدلات والمكافآت) ومن الصعوبة قياسه أو ضبطه أو رقابه مدى التزام أصحاب الأعمال بتطبيقه لكونه يتغير من شهر لأخر حسب ظروف العمل، بالإضافة إلى أن أصحاب الأعمال - بما فيهم الدولة - يعمدوا دائما إلى تقليل الأجر الأساسي وزيادة الأجر المتغير ليكون بذلك أحد عوامل السيطرة على العمال، وأداة من أدوات تسهيل عقابهم. فتشير التقديرات الحكومية إلى أن الأجر الأساسي لا يزيد على 22% من الأجر الشامل0

السبب الثانى: أن غاية المشرع من وضع حد أدنى للأجور فى المجتمع تستهدف تحقيق التوازن بين الأجور والأسعار بما يضمن حياه كريمه للعامل وذهب المركز إلى أن إقرار مبلغ ال 400 جنيه كحدا للأجر سواء الاساسى أو الشامل لا يحقق هذه الغاية لأنه يجعل العامل المصري تحت خطى الفقر القومي والدولي معا، فخط الفقر القومي مقدر 656 جنيها فى الشهر طبقا لأسعار 2008، وطبقا لتقديرات وزارة التنمية الاقتصادية ذاتها حيث قدرت خط الفقر القومي بمبلغ 1968 جنيها للفرد سنويا وبذلك يكون الحد الأدنى للأجور للموظف باعتباره مسئولا عن أسرة مكونة من 4 أفراد (متوسط حجم الأسرة) =( 1968/12×4= 656 جنيه شهريا) حتى يصبح الموظف أو العامل على خط الفقر القومي، في حين تشير تقديرات البنك الدولي لتحديد خط الفقر الدولي إلى ما يفوق1200 جنيه، حيث قدر ب 2 دولار فى اليوم للفرد، لذا يحتاج العامل الذى يعول أربع أفراد إلى 8 دولار فى اليوم، ولو تم حساب سعر صرف الدولار على خمسة جنيها فقط يصبح الحد الأدنى 40 جنيها فى اليوم ×30 يوم= 1200 جنيه شهريا حتى يصبح العامل على خط الفقر الدولي.

واختتم المركز صحيفة دعواه بإلزما المطعون ضدهم بتقديم المستندات الدالة على الأسس والمعايير التي تم على أساسها وضع هذا المبلغ باعتباره حدا أدنى للأجر الشامل وليس حدا أدنى للأجر الاساسى، وكذلك تقديم المعايير والمؤشرات التي تم على أساسها حساب مبلغ ال 400 جنيها وخاصة بيان مفردات نفقات المعيشة التي تم استند إليها لحساب هذا المبلغ، وبيان المعايير التى جعلت المبلغ لا يتجاوز حتى خط الفقر القومي المحدد ب 656 جنيه شهريا. وطالب بوقف تنفيذ وإلغاء قرار المجلس القومي للأجور فيما ذهب إليه من حساب الحد الأدنى للأجر على الأجر الشامل وليس على الأجر الاساسى بما ترتب على ذلك من آثار أخصها اعتبار المبلغ المحدد من قبل المجلس القومي للأجور حدا للأجر الأساسي، ووقف تنفيذ وإلغاء قرار استبعاد خطى الفقر القومي والدولي طبقا لأسعار 2010 من حساب الحد الأدنى للأجر بما ترتب على ذلك من آثار أخصها إعادة حساب الحد الأدنى للأجر بمراعاة خطى الفقر القومى والدولي طبقا لأسعار 2010

وفى شرح صفة الطاعنين فى القضية ذكر المركز فى طعنه أنه إذا كان ناجى رشاد يعمل بقطاع الأعمال العام ومقيم الدعوى الأولى وصاحب مصلحة في تنفيذ الحكم تنفيذا حقيقيا، وأمنية شكر صحفيه تتضرر من عدم حساب الحد الأدنى للأجر على الأجر الاساسى، فإن هند محمود الطالبة الجامعية ستدخل إلى سوق العمل وترنوا للحصول على فرصة عمل بأجر عادل يضمن لها حياه كريمة.

المركز المصري للحقوق الاقتصادية والاجتماعية

31 أكتوبر 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My letter to president Arnold on the AUC workers strike

Dear president Arnold,

I would like to bring a recent concern of mine to your attention.

I am very grateful for the tools I received at AUC to think and assess critically the social and political processes that shape our daily lives. Since completing my graduate studies at AUC earlier this year I have been able to put some of these lessons and tools to use on behalf of the out of place and displaced. Thus, much of my journalistic and video work has focused on workers and farmers who are prime targets of cronyist and neo-liberal structural political processes in place in the Egyptian political regime. Since the late 1970s this group of people have become less and less of a priority to the Egyptian authorities and even more intensely so in the past decade.

It was with much concern that I read about the strike taking place on AUC's campus this week- the very campus where I learned to question these most draconian of measures.

In recent years living costs in Egypt have been going through the roof, working myself as a free-lancer I have struggled to cover my expenses. I realize I lead a very much privileged life style. Yet, even if I moved in with my parents where I would not pay for rent or food and were I to limit my life to the most basic expenditures I doubt I could manage spending only LE400 a month and that is only supporting myself. How a breadwinner supporting an entire family does so in Egypt I have no idea.

I would ask that AUC act as a beacon of difference in a country where workers are used and abused in a structural manner. Can AUC rise to the challenge and provide a moment of difference?

Earlier this year video I made a short documentary featuring a lawyer, economist and worker involved in raising court case 21606 against the Egyptian president, prime minister and minister of industry to provide a fair minimum living wage in accordance with market prices. The video will provide you with a very clear explanation for why the provision of a monthly salary of LE1200 is a very basic "human right"- the right to a fair wage and the right to lead an honorable life- that I believe AUC as an institution stands for. The call for a minimum salary of LE1200 a month is based on the UN's poverty line of $1 per day for an average household of five people.

I would ask you to consider very seriously implementing what I consider the most basic demands of AUC's workers:

1. Receive a gross minimum monthly wage of 1,200 EGP (which means less than 1000EGP net) with equal pay for all workers who hold the same position.

2. Have Saturday as an official holiday for the AUC workers as it is for all those employed in the maintenance, service departments and the administration. If one is to work on Saturday they shall receive overtime pay for their work.

3. Receive 200 EGP as meal compensation (or an adequate meal) in addition to the salary.

4. Receive annual salary raise of no less than 10% on the original wage of each worker. This percentage is subject to be increased by the administration.

5. Receive Social Insurance coverage that includes all the years of service to the AUC.

thank you for taking the time to consider my concerns,

Philip Rizk

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Update from the Future Pipes Workers from August 23 (in Ramadan things are always a bit of time, bas here it is for the record)

Demonstration by the Future Company Workers
The workers of the Future Pipes Company presented a report today to the Attorney General demanding an investigation into the company's use of toxic materials, discontinuance of the use of these materials, and an investigation into the death of one of the company's workers resulting from his usage of the materials.
Mahmoud Mohsen al-Qiady works at the Future Pipes Company, which employs around 500 workers in 6 of October City. He stated: “Today, fourteen workers who were dismissed from the company three months ago on charges of inciting workers to strike faced the Attorney General, in the course of a chain of actions organized by the workers against the Lebanese investor and owner of the company. We met with the Attorney General, who promised us that he would open an investigation, and organized a protest in front of his headquarters.” Mahmoud continued: “We then met with the General Union for Egyptian Workers, which failed to stand by our side. The President of the General Syndicate merely encouraged us to accept the compensation offered by the company administrations, and refused to offer us a subsidy from the Union's fund on the basis that we are not members of the Syndicate.”
Mahmoud stated that the workers were determined to receive their rights, particularly after opening the lines of communication with workers in the company's Lebanon branches, whose owner liquidated and shut down the company, displacing 500 Lebanese workers. They issued a statement in solidarity with the workers as follows: “After the blatant abuse practiced by the Future Pipes Company administration, in both Egypt and Lebanon, represented by Fouad al-Makhzoumy, his family, legal advisors, and close affiliates within in the “National Discussion Party,” we find ourselves as workers forced to stand in the face of the exploitation and the violation of our rights and of our rightful earnings.”
In addition the fourteen workers who were fired and forced defend their rights, the Lebanese investor has displaced 200 workers over the course of the last two years, forcing them to resign. The company has twelve branches in countries throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

في برلين 26 يوم إضراب عن الطعام ضد تطهير عرقي اسرائلي مستمر In Berlin a 28 day hunger strike against ongoing Israeli ethnic cleansing

Meet Firas Al-Miraghi

قابل فيراس المراغي



Future Pipe Industries worker sit-in, Lebanon

And here an August 21 Lebanese-Egyptian joint press statement:

Statement issued on behalf of the workers of Future Pipes‭, ‬Egypt and Lebanon branches‭. ‬

Fellow workers and noble activists‭:‬

After the blatant abuse exercised by the management of Future Pipes‭, ‬Inc‭, ‬represented by Fouad al Makhzoumi‭, ‬his family members‭, ‬legal advisers‭, ‬and close associates in his‭ "‬Party for National Dialogue‭", ‬whether in Egypt or Lebanon‭, ‬we find ourselves compelled to confront the face of exploitation and violation of our rights and earnings‭. ‬

Fouad Makhzoumi has made a point of closing down the factory in Akkar district in northern Lebanon‭, ‬displacing all of its workers‭ (‬in excess of 400‭) ‬with no compensation‭, ‬as we stand at the gates of the Holy Month of Ramadan‭. ‬Ironically‭, ‬he and his party members are arranging free iftars in various parts of Lebanon‭. ‬We do not hesitate to state openly that Al Makhzoumi employers have taken advantage of their financial wealth and political relations to buy the loyalty‭ ‬of employees in the Ministry of Labor‭. ‬The latter is entitled only to the name of a Ministry of Businessmen‭, ‬as our experiences attest to the extent of their bias‭. ‬

In Egypt‭, ‬Makhzoumi himself has taken it upon himself to deliberately transfer about 220‭ ‬workers‭. ‬This shameless transfer policy has recently resulted in fourteen workers on charges of incitement to strike‭. ‬And we say to Makhzoumi in this regard‭, ‬that‭ - ‬assuming evidence exists to the effect that these 14‭ ‬workers participated in strikes‭, ‬or incited to strike‭ - ‬indeed‭, ‬striking is not a crime to be charged with‭, ‬but rather‭, ‬a right that is sponsored by laws and international agreements‭. ‬We‭ ‬therefore stand against this blatant violation of our most basic rights‭. ‬Our colleagues in Egypt organized a strike in demand for wage proportionality in relation to risk exposure‭. ‬Several of them have been subject to the same diseases that have seized us owing to our continued dealing‭ -‬on production lines‭ - ‬with poisonous substances that have led to the development of cases of‭ asthma ‬and cancer‭, ‬in addition to aural and spinal complications‭. ‬

Today Al Makhzoumi ‬is betting on our despair from demanding our rights‭, ‬especially since most of us suffer under enormous pressure to survive after our wages have been terminated and under the pressure of long term loans which we owe banks‭. ‬As workers we are not accustomed to eating anything less than what we strive for‭, ‬and as such we declare that we will defend our rights and our livelihood with all our strength‭. ‬To this end we are prepared to sacrifice our lives in order to achieve our goal of re-opening the factory in Lebanon and re-employing our colleague workers who have been made redundant in Egypt‭.‬

We place the responsibility for any forthcoming actions squarely on Fouad Makhzoumi first and foremost‭, ‬in addition to those politicians associated with him‭, ‬particularly the Labor Minister Boutros Harb in Lebanon‭, ‬as the government is united in its silence from all ends and by all parties‭, ‬before the displacement of hundreds of workers‭. ‬We say to our elected officials‭, ‬chosen for representation and not pretense‭, ‬you will pay your dues when the time is ripe‭. ‬As for the general trade union‭, ‬we ask that they shoulder their responsibilities towards a defense of our rights as workers‭, ‬and not to be a bureaucratic organization in service of the establishment‭. ‬Thus we call on the trade union to return to its role in the democratic labor struggle‭.‬

‬Let us unite to return to workers their rights‭.‬

There is no other way to realize this goal but to persist in the struggle to preserve our violated rights and in defense of a better world free of exploitation‭. ‬

He who dies in defense of his homeland‭, ‬honor and wealth is a martyr‭, ‬and we are for it‭, ‬and may tomorrow come soon‭. ‬

Workers of Future Pipes‭, ‬Inc‭. ‬
Egypt and Lebanon

بيان صادر عن عمال المستقبل لصناعة الأنابيب فرعي مصر ولبنان
إخوتنا العمال، ايها المناضلون الشرفاء،
بعد التعسف الصارخ الذي مارسته ادارة شركة المستقبل لصناعة الأنابيب و الممثلة بفؤاد المخزومي و أفراد عائلته و مستشاريه القانونيين والمقربين في حزبه "حزب الحوار الوطني"، إن في مصر أو في لبنان، وجدنا أنفسنا كعمال مضطرين للوقوف بوجه الاستغلال وإنتهاك حقوقنا ومكتسباتنا.
فقد عمد فؤاد مخزومي الى إقفال المصنع في منطقة عكار شمال لبنان و تشريد جميع العاملين فيه الذين يفوق عددهم الأربعمائة و من دون أية تعويضات، ونحن على أبواب شهر رمضان المبارك بينما تنتشر، ويا للسخرية! موائد الرحمن التي ينظمها وحزبه في أنحاء مختلفة من لبنان. ونحن لا نتردد بالقول جهاراً بأن أصحاب العمل من آل مخزومي قد إستغلوا إمكاناتهم المادية وعلاقاتهم السياسية لشراء زمم موظفين في وزارة العمل. أما هذه الأخيرة فيستحق فيها إسم وزارة "أصحاب العمل" إذ برهنت تجربتنا عن مدى إنحيازها لهم.
أما في مصر، فقد عمد مخزومي نفسه الى صرف حوالي 220 عاملاً. وقد طالت سياسة الصرف التعسفي مؤخراً 14 عاملاً "بتهمة" التحريض على الإضراب. ونقول لمخزومي في هذا الصدد، أنه، وإن ثبت أن هؤلاء العمال الـ14 قد شاركوا أو حرضوا على الإضراب، فإن الإضراب، ليس بتهمة، فهو حق لنا كفلته القوانين والإتفاقات الدولية، وبالتالي نحن نقف ضد هذا الإنتهاك الصارخ لأبسط حقونا. وكان زملاؤنا في مصر قد نظموا إضراباً للمطالبة بتحسيب الأجور بما يوازي حجم المخاطر التي يتعرضون لها. وقد أصاب بعضهم ما أصابنا من أمراضٍ نتيجة تعاملنا المتواصل في الصناعة مع موادٍ سامة أدت الى ظهور حالات ربو وسرطان، بالإضافة الى مشاكل في السمع والعامود الفقري.
يراهن اليوم آل مخزومي على يأسنا من المطالبة بحقوقنا، خاصةً وأن أغلبنا يرزح تحت وطأة الضغط المعيشي بعد وقف مرتباتنا وتحت وطأة القروض الطويلة الأمد التي ندين لها للبنوك. إلاّ أننا كعمال لم نتعود أن نأكل إلا من عرق جبيننا، نعلن بأننا سندافع عن حقوقنا وأرزاقنا بكل ما أوتينا من قوة. و نحن لهذه الغاية، مستعدين للتضحية بحياتنا من أجل تحقيق مطالبنا المتمثلة بإعادة تشغيل المصنع في لبنان وإعادة رفاقنا العمال المصروفين في مصر.
و نحن نحمّل مسؤولية ما سيحصل من تحركات لفؤاد المخزومي بالمقام الأول ومن ينحاز إليه ويحميه من السياسيين، خاصة وزير العمل بطرس حرب في لبنان، كما الحكومة مجتمعة التي تلتزم الصمت بأطيافها وأحزابها مجتمعةً أمام تشريد مئات العمال. ونقول لنوابنا الذين أنتخبناهم ليمثلونا لا ليمثلوا علينا، فسوف يكون الحساب عند الإستحقاق. وبالنسبة للإتحاد العمالي العام، فنحن ندعوه الى تحمل مسؤولياته في الدفاع عن حقوقنا كعمال لا أن يكون منظمة بيروقراطية بخدمة النظام، وبالتالي ندعوه الى العودة الى موقعه النضالي العمالي الديموقراطي .
و ختاما الى اخواننا العمال نردد القول المأثور " أكلت يوم أكل الثور الأبيض". فلنتحد و نعلنها كلمة تعيد للعمال حقهم. وما من وسيلة لتحقيق ذللك سوى بالإستمرار في النضال حفاظاً على حقوقنا المنهوبة ودفاعاً عن عالم أفضل من دون إستغلال.
من مات دفاعاً عن وطنه وعرضه وماله فهو شهيد، ونحن لها، و ان الغد لناظره قريب.
عمال المستقبل لصناعة ألأنابيب
في لبنان وفي جمهورية مصر العربية

Monday, August 23, 2010

وقفة احتجاجية لعمال المستقبل

تقدم عمال شركة المستقبل للأنابيب اليوم ببلاغ إلى النائب العام للمطالبة بالتحقيق في المواد السامة التي تستخدمها الشركة والتحفظ عليها وكذلك فتح تحقيق في وفاة أحد العمال متأثرا بتعامله مع هذه المواد.
وقال محمود محسن القيادي بشركة المستقبل التي يعمل بها نحو 500 عاملا في محافظة السادس من أكتوبر ..توجه اليوم العمال الأربعة عشر الذين تم فصلهم من الشركة منذ 3 شهور بتهمة التحريض على الإضراب إلى النائب العام في إطار سلسلة الحركات التي ينظمها العمال ضد المستثمر اللبناني صاحب الشركة، حيث التقينا بالنائب العام المساعد الذي وعدنا بفتح تحقيق في البلاغ ..كما نظمنا وقفة احتجاجية أمام مقر النائب العام .
وأضاف محمود ..توجهنا بعد ذلك إلى الاتحاد العام لعمال مصر الذي لم يقف إلى جوارنا بل واكتفى رئيس النقابة العامة للكيماويات بحثنا على قبول التعويض من إدارة الشركة، ورفض منحنا إعانة من صندوق الاتحاد على أساس إننا لسنا أعضاء في النقابة العامة !!
ويشير محمود إلى إن العمال مصممون على انتزاع حقوقهم خاصة بعد أن فتحوا قنوات اتصال مع عمال الشركة في لبنان والذي قام صاحبها بتصفيتها وإغلاقها نهائيا مما أدى إلى تشريد 500 عاملا لبنانيا وأصدروا بيانا مشتركا جاء فيه : بعد التعسف الصارخ الذي مارسته إدارة شركة المستقبل لصناعة الأنابيب و الممثلة بفؤاد المخزومي و أفراد عائلته و مستشاريه القانونيين والمقربين في حزبه "حزب الحوار الوطني"، إن في مصر أو في لبنان، وجدنا أنفسنا كعمال مضطرين للوقوف بوجه الاستغلال وانتهاك حقوقنا ومكتسباتنا.
وإلى جانب فصل 14 عاملا لدفاعهم عن حقوق العمال التي تهدرها إلا دارة، قام المستثمر اللبناني بتشريد 220 عاملا ، وأجبرهم على تقديم استقالتهم على مدار العامين الماضيين، وللشركة فروع في 12 دولة عربية وأوروبية .

Monday, August 9, 2010

بيان تضامن مع عمال لبنان من عمال مصر

بيان تضامن مع عمال لبنان
من عمال مصر

نعلن نحن عمال شركة المستقبل لصناعة الأنابيب –مصر – عن تضامنا الكامل مع زملائنا العمال اللبنانيين المعتصمين في مقر شركتهم منذ 12 يوليو الماضي، لمنع صاحب الشركة فؤاد المخزومي من إغلاقها وتشريدهم بحجة إنها تتعرض لخسائر كبيرة رغم المكاسب الكبيرة التي تحققها .

ونشدد على أن معركة عمال لبنان هي معركة كل عمال المجموعة وعمال مصر الذين يتعرضون بدورهم إلى اضطهاد وتعسف من صاحب الشركة، حيث قام مؤخرا بفصل 14 عاملا لدفاعهم عن حقوق العمال التي تهدرها إلا دارة، وتشريد 220 عاملا ، وإجبارهم على تقديم استقالتهم على مدار العامين الماضيين .

ويؤكد عمال مصر إنهم على أتم الاستعداد لاتخاذ كل الخطوات الكفاحية بالتنسيق مع عمال لبنان وكل عمال المجموعة من أجل وقف مسلسل الاضطهاد والتعسف الذي يقوم به المخزومي .

ويشددون على إن نجاح مخططات الإدارة تجاه العمال في كل من لبنان ومصر يفتح الباب على مصراعيه أمام اضطهاد العمال في باقي دول المجموعة، وبالتالي فلابد من أن نقف جميعا وقفة رجل واحد أمام رأس المال المتوحش .

عمال شركة المستقبل –مصر
أعضاء اللجنة النقابية
محمود محسن
أسامة صابر

للاتصال تليفون رقم

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

another day protesting a police state

Tuesday morning witnessed a 200+ crowd of protesters outside the Alexandria court house where the trial of Khaled Said's murderers was taking place.

شهد صباح الثلاثاء حشد من اكثر من 200 متظاهر امام محكمة الاسكندرية القائمة علي محاكمة قتلة خالد السعيد
Long-time activist leads chants: "The Ministry of Interior is the official overseer of the drug trade in Egypt"
قاد الناشط السياسي المخضرم الهتافات : " وزارة الداخلية هي الراعي الرسمي لتجارة المخدرات في مصر

As protesters try to enter the cordoned off rally security agents follow orders and use force:

Government-hired hagglers hold up signs reading "the judges represent us, the police are honest," and calling protesters "traitors." They also chanted against the gathered protesters calling them "Jews."

اسأجرت الحكومة بعض الافراد رافعين رايات مكتوب عليها : " القضاة يمثلوننا ؛ و ضباط الشرطة صادقين" منادين المتظاهربن بالخونة اليهود.

The officer in charge stands by and oversees the comedy like a puppet master:
وقف الضابط المسئول يشرف علي هذه المسرحية الكوميدية و كأنه محرك العرائس.

As the court house lies on one of Alexandria's main roads, hordes of bystanders gathered, standing witness to the true trial taking place on the streets. The judge inside the court house postponed the hoax case to September 25.

Eventually all protesters were permitted to leave the security force cordon.
و حيث ان المحكمة تقع علي احد شوارع الاسكندرية الرئيسية ؛ تجمع حشد من المتفرجين يشهدون المحاكمة الحقيقية في الشارع.
اجل القاضي المحاكمة المزعومة الي 25 سبتمبر .

و اخيرا سمح للمتظاهرين بمغادرة كوردون قوات الامن.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Egyptian Security caught off guard, use excessive force against anti-torture march

مداهمة الأمن المصري ، واستخدام القوة المفرطة ضد المشاركين في مسيرة ضد التعذيب

Security agents were caught completely off guard when an anti-torture protest in downtown Cairo re-located from the completely police besieged Tahrir Square to a march that started at the nearby Bab el-Luq square. The march that started with approximately 50 protesters increased to 200-250 people. Security agents and plain clothes police started arriving at the scene and followed the march on either side of the road. Marchers were chanting "down with Husni Mubarak" and "look, here are the youth of Egypt."

فوجئ رجال الامن تماما عندما غيرت مظاهرة مناهضة للتعذيب موقعها من ميدان التحرير المحاصر تماما من قبل قوات الشرطة و تحولت إلى مسيرة بدأت من ميدان باب.اللوق. المسيرة التي بدأت بنحو 50 متظاهرا وصل عددهم إلى 200-250 شخص. بدأ ورجال الأمن وشرطة يرتدون ملابس مدنية الوصول الى مكان المظاهرة وتابعوا المسيرة من على جانبي الطريق. المتظاهرون كانوا يهتفون "فليسقط حسني مبارك" و "انظروا، ها هم شباب مصر"
توقفت السيارات للسماح للمشاركين في المسيرة بالمرور وهم يهتفون "حرية ، حرية".

Cars stopped to let marchers chanting "freedom, freedom" pass by... drivers often clapped and chanted along.

صفق السائقين في كثير من الأحيان ورددوا الهتافات.

Egyptian security started arriving en mass @:22 (in final video), blocking the road ahead of the march with trucks and police. They started surrounding part of the group, then picking protesters out of the crowd one-by-one. The protesters replied with chants "we are not afraid, we are not afraid" @01:52

بدأت قوات الأمن المصرية بالوصول في مجموعات كبيرة @ : 22 (في الفيديو الاخير) ، و سدت الطريق أمام المسيرة بشاحنات كبيرة ورجال الشرطة. وبدأوا يطوقون اجزاء من المجموعة ، ثم بدأوا في التقاط المتظاهرين من الحشد واحد تلو الاخر و رد المتظاهرون بهتافات "لسنا خائفين ، ونحن لسنا خائفين" @ 01:52

Both police and plain clothes security agents started using excessive force. @04:25 you will see an unidentifiable protester or protesters getting crushed under severe blows of policemen. @02:42 security try to cordone off a large section of protesters. Security agents tried to get everyone to stop filming and taking pictures @4:00. @4:50 plain clothes security picked one person off the sidewalk next to me, @5:30 another is taken.

بدأت كل من رجال الشرطة ورجال الأمن بملابس مدنية باستخدام القوة المفرطة. @ 04:25 سترون متظاهر او بعض المتظاهرين غيرمغروف هويتهم يسحقون تحت ضربات شديدة من قبل رجال الشرطة. @ 02:42 يحاول رجال الأمن تطويق جزء كبير من المتظاهرين. و حاولوا منع التصويروالتقاط الصور @ 04:00. @ 4:50 التقط رجال الأمن بالملابس المدنية شخص واحد من الرصيف المجاور لي ، @ 05:30 قبض علي آخر.

Trying to film as much as possible without getting my phone or my self confiscated I was suddenly attacked by this massive policeman @6:35 who yelled "don't film boy" and hit me in the face, then kicked me as I picked up the phone and managed to escape.. the phone kept filming.

احاول التصويرلاطول فترة ممكنة دون مصادرة هاتفي أو يقبضوا علي و فجأة تعرضت لهجوم من قبل شرطي ضخم @ 6:35 و الذي صاح "لا تصوير يا ولد" وضربني في وجهي ، ثم ركلني وأنا احاول التقاط هاتفي وتمكنت من الفرار.. ظل الهاتف يصور.

This is the violence of the decaying police state apparatus that Egyptians get to witness on our streets. What you don't see behind the closed doors of the torture chambers of police stations and ministry of interior holding stations, is much worse still.

The latest resports (via Ramy Raoof) are that 55 protesters were disappeared, by 21:00 most of these were released. Abdelqader is reporting that security agents are leaving protesters stranded on the road in the faraway new Cairo suburbs.

At sundown protesters continue their chants calling for the release of all fellow marchers

By 21:00 security agents release all kidnapped protesters (though money, ids stolen), for today the protests come to an end.

Egyptian police state apparatus down

هذا هو عنف الدولة البوليسية المتدهورة الذي يشهده المصريين في شوارعنا.و ما لا تراه خلف ألابواب المغلقة من غرف التعذيب في مراكز الشرطة ومراكزالاحتجازفي وزارة الداخلية ، مازال أسوأ بكثير 

آخر التقارير (عن طريق رامي رؤوف) هي اختفتاء 55 المتظاهرين ، أفرج عن معظمهم في الساعة 21:00 .

قدم عبد القادر تقرير ان رجال الامن تركوا الماظاهرين على الطريق في ضواحي القاهرة الجديدة 

عند غروب شمس واصل المتظاهرون الهتافات للأفراج عن جميع المحتجزين من المشاركين في المسيرة

 و في الساعة 21:00 قام رجال الامن باطلاق سراح جميع المتظاهرين المختطفين (على الرغم من سرقة ما معهم من مال، وهوياتهم )

، لهذا اليوم وصلت المظاهرات نهايتها.

أجهزة شرطة الدولة المصرية 00:01

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Witnesses Speak out on security agents cold-blooded murder of Khaled Said

Translation provided by Z:

Statements and responses to what was publicized by the Governmental media about Khaled Saeed.
Released and authenticated by Mohamed Abd el Fattah
My Name is Shafik Galal Kamal from Sidi Gaber and was Khaleds friend
We were sitting in the cyber cafe and two police informants came in and wanted to frisk him
Khaled didn’t like the way they were conducting the search and asked them why they wanted to frisk us
They started beating on him and dragged him to the building entrance next door and they kept banging his head on the stair rod and continued beating him for another 20 minutes then they took him away and came back after 15min, we found Khaled dead.they called the ambulance which came and picked him up. And that’s all that happened.

The mother of one of khaleds friends:
A young man sitting in a cyber cafe and all he did was ask them “why are you frisking us” , “what did we do??”
They take him and beat him to death in the building next to the cyber cafe??!!! They take him away and when they found out he was dead they bring him back , dump his body in front of the cyber cafe then call the ambulance to pick him up??!!!!

And then they take him in a taxi all the way to the police station...when they find out he was dead they bring him back to the cyber cafe and dump his body in the street ..then they get out guns and threaten; anyone who comes close will be shot then they call the ambulance and leave....
How is this possible???!!
Then they are released...released!!!! how come???
Shafik khaleds friend:
They said he had a roll of weed ...and there wasn’t any..
They said he was a drug dealer...and he is not
He is a descent man, he has an import and export office and had lived in the united states.
That’s all what happened.
None of what they stated afterwards happened.
And if I would be requested to testify in court I will.

The mother of one of khaleds friends:
The one who died was my sons friend.
He neither took nor dealt in drugs.

They said he used drugs ...i swear its all lies...its all lies
He doesn’t use anything...he is a descent man

Abu el Ezz El Hariri – Former member of the parliament – Karmouz district
Someone who supposedly died of asphyxia, what broke his bones and his ribs??
shattered his face and skull???
It’s a bigger issue, no need for deception

Pick up anyone off the street and kill them.....the emergency law..
Accuse him of using and selling drugs...a convicted criminal....this is the emergency law..

The mother of one of khaleds friends:
Young man after the other are murdered and no one gets their rights in this country.....i swear
If this were the son of a government official...this would have never had happened
They are drug addicts and far worse and nothing ever happens to them
They only do this to the helpless...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

UPDATE: Violent Crackdown at Ministry of Interior Protest

it is 17:54 in cairo, protest started as planned at 17:00 in front of the ministry of interior to protest the brutal murder of Khaled Said at the hands of security force officers last week and ongoing usage of torture in Egypt

follow here and here for live video feed updates

Arabawy's last feed:

reports over twitter that many arrests have been made, the police force according to Arabawy is lead by officer Hisham el-Iraqi.

The approx 200 protestors are now encircled and the police force is closing in on them

Security forces arrested lawyer Malek Adly from Hisham Mubarak, Emad Mubarak (then released again by 18:12 according to RamyRaoof), Mohamed Waked, Ashraf Omar, Shadi and Hani el-hosseiny
Islam Al-Zanaty, Mohamed Nowar (according to ielsakka)

latest kidnapped activists reported by Emad Mubarak at 18:40:
Ahmed Badawy, Hosam Al-Sayad, Amr Ali, Nour Ayman Nour, Ali Hassan, Mostafa el-hosseiny, Samir Girgis and confirming Islam AL-Zenaty

According to RamyRaoof by 18:00 security forces had arrested 20 activists this number raised to estimates between 25 (RamyRaoof) and 60 by 18:25 (according hossam_karama)

Activists urgently calling for water supplies

Those leaving the protest are promised to go free and then arrested once outside of the cricle (Arabawy)

Ayman Nour reported to be in hospital according to btnafas7oria

Despite police brutality and kidnapping, protesters standing strong

We say NO to torture

At 19:30 demonstrators negotiations with security fail. Demonstrators won't leave till detainees are released via SarahCarr

urgent update 19:55:
security forces kidnap blogger-activist hossam el-hamalawy, ahmed kheir

update via ramyraoof:
new names:
rasha azb-ahmed kheir-malek mostafa-yehia sami-hassan hamdan-mohamed ansari-fouad fawaz-mohamed hosny-maikel nabil- mamdoh safwt

latest via SarahCarr:
security releasing people one by one, kidnapping those wanted

latest image from the scene

at 21:05 security forces are releasing the protesters two by two, only a small group left surrounded

at 21:10 blogger hossam el-hamalawy picked up at hospital and TravellweW taking him home.

Protest taking place at High Court for those kidnapped

Joining the protest now

Responding to the Lies of a Crumbling State

A response from the Nadeem Center to the Ministry of Interior's statement on the Murder of Khaled Said:

We shall not back down as long as you don't

On the 12th of June 2010 the department of media and public relations of the Egyptian ministry of interior issued a statement denying the content of the testimonies of eyewitnesses as well as reports by human rights organizations regarding the killing of Khaled Said in Alexandria, accusing those statement of inaccuracy, flagrant falsification, and crossing the line in dissemination of lies etc. the following is our reply:

The statement by the MOI refers to "certain elements and circles": We are not "elements" or "certain circles". We are human rights organizations which will not stop to monitor and expose each and every violation committed by the MOI, as well as its violation of rights, the law, the constitution and international conventions ratified by the Egyptian government to boast the international community, while it exercises all forms of humiliation and oppression against Egyptians, men and women, every day in each police station, security office, and detention center. Our names are known, our addresses are known and our statements are public.

MOI refers to "two police staff from the investigation unit at sidi Gaber police station in Alexandria who, while observing the security situation on the 7th of the current month in one of the streets of Cleopatra district, saw the convict/ Khaled Mohamed Said Sobhi accompanied by one of his friends; and when they approached to arrest him…" Why did the police informers go to arrest Khaled. Did they have an arrest warrant. If it is true, as claimed by the MOI, that Khaled was wanted for two court sentences, why didn’t an official police force in uniform go to his house and arrest him from there, after showing the arrest warrant and the alleged court sentences?

Why couldn't Khaled swallow the wrapped narcotics found in his throat, which MOI claims has resulted in his death of asphyxia? Could it be that this pack of narcotics was forcefully stuffed down his throat after he was dead, so he failed to swallow it, since, as we all know, the dead can not swallow? Is that what the MOI did in those ten minutes during which Khaled was taken away in a police car and then returned to the spot where he was beaten to death? How could Khaled, with a throat stuffed with that alleged narcotic pack scream "I am dying" while the informers were hitting his head against the marble of the stairs?

More questions to pose:

What were the chief investigation officer of Sidi Gaber police station and the director of Alexandria investigation department doing at the office of the prosecution yesterday, moving around freely from one prosecutor's office to the other, while an important eye witness had to wait for four whole hours in front of that same office, uselessly waiting for his testimony to be taken by a prosecutor who said "he did not have the time"?

How can the prosecutor claim, as a law and not medical graduate, that the fractures and disfigurements of Khaled's face and head were the result of autopsy? What was the forensic department looking for that necessitated a fracture of the skull, a dislocation of the jaw and the excessive bleeding? Were they looking for the narcotics inside his skull although MOI claimed it was stuck in his trachea?

Why did the public prosecutor issue a circular banning the photocopying of Khaled's file by the lawyers who had to go through the file and take hurried notes?

How does MOI and the prosecution refer to a forensic report that has not yet been issued and was nowhere to be found inside the file?

The MOI statement says that "the police authorities are committed to the law and human rights principles within the framework of the state's policy".. and we are committed to change that state's police which at the UN human rights council rejected the ratification of the optional protocol of CAT as well as a mechanism which allows for indirect individual complaints to the UN, thereby securing its immunity and complacency of the prosecution which seeks to protect the perpetrators of torture.

The MOI statement then concluded that it will not "back down no matter how much the allegations". Nor shall we, no matter how much MOI spread their lies and terror. We shall continue to expose crimes of torture, reach out for the victims, provide legal, psychological and media support as well as all other forms of support until the torturers are brought to justice.. As long as there is no public apology.. as long as there is torture.. as long as the perpetrators are not brought to justice.. we shall not back down

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Egypt: Torture as the Norm

Over the past few months I have been working on a video project about torture, so when I heard about the public beating and murder of 28-year old Khaled Sayed Thursday night it came as no surprise. According to blogger Mfatta7, Khaled had either filmed or obtained a video that reveals a number of police officers involved in a drug deal. This is the video provided by his sister:

Once again to most Egyptians neither the police involvement in drug dealing, nor security forces' use of torture for a personal vendetta comes as a surprise. And yet, this time there is an outrage that started on the streets of Alexandria and has spread around the country because the act was done so blatantly... and the news and images have spread online. On Sunday June 6 security agents sought to carry out a random search of the internet cafe Khaled was in. Following Egypt's emergency law amendments such random searches are not legal and he refused. Consequently he was beaten to death, his body was taken to a nearby police station and according to the man's uncle, Khaled's body was later thrown in front of his home

Meanwhile there is an Egyptian delegation at the UN Human Rights Council trying to whitewash the Egyptian governments image on torture and other rights violations. Reporting from Geneva, Hosam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Human Rights told Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm that, the government had pledged to "revisit the articles identifying torture in the penal code." The representatives furthermore promised to set up an "institutional mechanism" to follow up on the commitments made to the council. A similar mechanism the government set up to assess minimum wage needs in 2003 failed to ever meet, much less implement any changes. Aida Seif-Aldawla from the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence told AP, "we live in a country where there is absolutely no law. We want the sacking and trial of the head of the police."

So while government officials bullshit their way through UN apparatuses...

join us at a protest at the Ministry of Interior at 5pm Sunday

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Egyptian Shura Council Elections Masquerade

I was rudely awoken this morning at 9:30... "are you following the news?" I heard... the only "news" I could think of, was that I was still reeling from the Israeli massacre on the Gaza flotilla yesterday and editing till 3:30am...

Shortly thereafter I found myself in a taxi heading to Nadeem Center to meet up with Haitham to follow the chaos of Egyptian elections for the Council of Ministers. Personally, I have no experience in life that has made me have any in faith in electoral processes.

My taxi driver- 62 years old- told me he didn't have an election ID, nor did he ever have one, nor has he ever known anyone who has an election ID- and he has many relatives, five brothers and over 50 nephews- except for one: a brother-in-law, but he died.

So I ended up in Helwan and this is what I saw:

These voters tried to storm the polling station because they were prevented from voting.

When people asked for the rules, it turns out security were in the wrong and everyone there is was permitted to vote using their nation ID:

But it didn't matter. They weren't allowed in anyway.

They made up a new rule that says unless you have the little red card, you don't get in to vote. So in this last station in a district with 12,000 registered voters, only five entered the polling station to cast their vote, all of them NDP members.

This man is saying (paraphrased)... we live in shitty conditions here, our children can't find jobs, if you would see the poverty we live in, we want change, so we came to vote for it...

And so like anybody would these people held a protest:

I am no fan of organized religion, but I would be in that crowd too, did I not believe in elections to begin with.

Change will come from below.