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