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January 05 2012

December 22 2011

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Egyptian Women March Against Military Brutality

Jihan Hafiz reports on a historic march of 10000 women mobilized in central Cairo against military

Time: 07:20 More in News & Politics
Reposted bysofias sofias

December 20 2011


December 17 2011

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Violence Erupts in Egypt After Second Round of Parliamentary Elections

Egyptians decry military regime as government cracks down on cabinet occupation

Time: 08:35 More in News & Politics

Egypt: Tahrir Square Burning

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Egypt's Military Police set Cairo's Tahrir Square ablaze and forcefully pushed away protesters demonstrating outside the Cabinet on the first anniversary of the Arab revolution, sparked by the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. Egypt's netizens are on hand to provide witness accounts of what is happening on the ground now.

The battle #OccupyCabinet has been raging for two days: eight people have been killed and more than 300 injured as the military attacked protesters who have been camping outside the Cabinet headquarters in Cairo for the past three weeks, protesting against the military appointment of Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal El Ganzouri as the new Prime Minister earlier this month.

El Ganzouri just gave a press conference, stressing that the army would not attack peaceful protesters. Minutes later, a full offensive was waged on the protesters, pushing them away from the cabinet and clearing and burning Tahrir Square. Netizens report their witness accounts live on Twitter as I type.

OneRevolution tweets:

@nagoul1: A massacre is taking place in #Tahrir right #now! #egypt #NoScaf #MediaBlackout

And screams:

@Nagoul1: We lost the square! #Tahrir #Egypt #NoScaf

He explains:

@nagoul1: The army used live ammunition to disperse #tahrir protesters -forcing them back away from cabinet buiding to the mddle of the square.

And pinpoints his vantage point:

@nagoul1: I am three blocks away from where the action is. It was very loud.

On Twitter, Sharif Khaddous shares this image from Tahrir Square now and explains:

Sharif kouddous shares this picture of tahrir square minutes ago on twitter

Sharif Kouddous shares this picture of Tahrir Square minutes ago on Twitter

@sharifkouddous: Groups of soldiers roaming square. Some people getting beaten randomly. Tents burning. Tahrir looks like a war zone

The journalist adds:

@sharifkouddous: Army soldiers just came into apartment we are at and took cameras from us

As usual, journalists have not been spared in this attack on protesters. Hayat Al Yamani tweets that her colleagues from Al Jazeera Mubashar have been arrested too.

الشرطة العسكرية قبضت على زمايلي من الجزيرة مباشر مصر اللي كانوا بيصورو الفجر

: The Military Police have arrested my colleagues at Al Jazeera Mubasher Egypt who were filming at dawn
الشرطة العسكرية داهمت المكان اللي كنا بنصور منه الفجر واخدوا المعدات وقابضين على 3من زمايلنا

: The Military Police broke into the place we were filming in at dawn and took our equipment and arrested three of my colleagues

Bel Trew is also on the scene, tweeting live. Here are some of his frantic tweets as the chaos unfolds:

@Beltrew: Tents on fire on the midan [Square]. Army everywhere and extremely violent. Can here bangs not sure if it's gunfire #tahrir a mess

@Beltrew: Protesters being chased down corniche running between the traffic. This is ridiculous #tahrir

And Adam Makary exclaims:

@adamakary: PM Ganzouri SAID violence will not be used on peaceful protesters just ten minutes ago #Egypt

And adds:

@adammakary: The military police have taken tahrir and qasr el aini - they've got it sealed from every rooftop and every road entrance. Painful images

And he shares this image too:

Tahrir burning. adam makary shares this image of tahrir burning on yfrog

Tahrir Burning. Adam Makary shares this image of Tahrir burning on yfrog

@adammakary: This is #tahrir now, I'm speechless #egypt #occupycabinet

He explains:

@adamakary: Military police setting every tent ablaze in their vicinity, bashing cars, everything.. anything #egypt

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

December 16 2011

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Egyptian Workers Strike and March Against Regime

Workers say repression getting worse as they fight for a minimum wage

Time: 03:58 More in News & Politics
Reposted by99percent 99percent

December 15 2011

Video: Middle East Responds to Media via Webcam

Talk Back TV Middle East provides a way for people from in the Middle East and North Africa can talk back and give their take on state controlled television and mass media using only a webcam and computer.

The concept is explained on the talk back website:

You see something on TV and want to TalkBack – Pick your clip from our rich source media database, record your comments via webcam, use our simple editor to put it together, and then watch your video remix on TalkBackTV’s dual-screen player. When you’re done, hit publish and share you finished ‘Rant’ everywhere you go online. Your webcam is now a weapon of mass communication.

Currently highlighted on their blog is a rant by Khaled Eibid on Essam Atta, a 24 year old Egyptian activist tortured and murdered by guards in the the Egyptian military prison where he was retained. The event has failed to make headlines internationally, and that his death should go unnoticed has spurred Khaled Eibid into action:

Khaleds Eibid rant honoring Essam Atta and other activists killed by the regime is in Arabic. Here is the rough translation. I can't tell what the music is. But it is perfect.

“We did not get justice for Khaled Said”
” We did not get justice for Said bilal”
” Are going to let justice flee again for Essam Atta?”

” Why the Egyptian blood so cheap ” ?

Other collaborators have added their videos on a diversity of topics. For example, Raafatology brings to the discussion the need Egyptians had to be able to vote from abroad for the recent elections like counterparts in other countries like Sudan and Iraq are able to do. At the end and after a fight, their right to vote was respected.

Khaled Eibid provides another rant on the impunity for crimes of violence the military commits against civilians. The Egyptian army assaulted civilian demonstrators after Jan25 and the judiciary system failed to be effective in getting justice for those cases. The army represses the revolution but fails to take the chance to do something positive for the country, instead taking it out against protesters, sometimes in a ratio of 15 military personnel for each civilian.

And as a short comment on the same video, Akhnaton wonders why the police don't fall back into the headquarters now, just like they did on January 28th.

December 14 2011

Egypt: Long Queues in Second Stage of Egyptian Elections

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Elections 2011.

The second stage of Egypt's parliamentary elections started today, with Egyptians in nine provinces going to the polls.

Zeinobia, from Egyptian Chronicles, blogs about this stage saying that polling stations will be open in Giza, Bani Sawif, Monufia, Sharkia, Ismailia, Suez, Beheira, Sohag and Aswan.

She adds:

There are 3,387 candidates across the 9 governorates competing for 180 seats in this stage. “2,271 are competing for 60 individual seats while 1,116 are competing over 120 lists seats”

The elections, the first since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, started on November 28 and are expected to continue until January 10, 2012, and are being held in three stages.

About 19 million Egyptians are eligible to vote in this second stage, which continue until tomorrow. The candidates are vying for 498 seats in the lower house. Today's and tomorrow's elections will be followed by run-off elections where neck to neck candidates will face off after a week. In this round, constituents are expected to cast three ballots, two for individual candidates and a third for a party.

Once a Parliament is in place, it will be responsible for appointing a committee which will draft the country's new constitution, which will pave the way to the presidential elections later on.

Here is a snap shot of reactions from Twitter about is happening in different provinces across Egypt today.

Journalist Rawya Rageh tweets her experience in Giza so far, complaining about the harassment the Press is facing there. She asks:

@RawyaRageh: Are other journos having difficulties reporting from inside voting stations in #Giza? #Egyelections #Egypt

And continues:

@RawyaRageh: Security this time not as cooperative.. Military asked us to move away from station, police asking us about ‘permits' #Egyelections #Giza

She adds:

@RawyaRageh: Not being allowed to film inside several voting stations in #Giza despite HEC credentials, being told state TV only #Egyelections #Egypt

Rageh observes:

@RawyaRajeh: Turnout quite low in #Giza, nothing at all like the numbers I saw in #Assiut in 1stround. Any word on other provinces? #Egyelections #Egypt

Nadia El Awady disagrees with this observation, noting long badly organised queues at the polling station in Al Haram, in Al Koum Al Akhdhar.

She tweets:

@NadiaE: There was an endless non-line of women infront of school. I'll have to try again tonight or early tomorrow #egyelections

She shares this photograph on Twitpic showing the chaos.

Long queues at polling station in al haram. photo by nadia elawady, shared via twitpic on twitter

Long queues at polling station in Al Haram. Photo by Nadia ElAwady, shared via Twitpic on Twitter

She then asks:

@NadiaE: Can someone tell me the down times for women in #egyelections? Lunch time? Evening? When do i have best chance of finding fewest women?

Other journalists are also reporting long queues elsewhere.

Steven Cook tweets:

@stevenacook: Long lines waiting to vote in Imbaba. People are in good spirits #EgyElections

Hannah Allam is in Suez and writes:

@HannahAllam: In Suez, long lines of voters, heavy army presence. #Egyelections

And it won't be Egypt, if reactions were not infused with Egyptian humour.

Amira Salah-Ahmed jokes:

@Amiralx: Come to Egypt, home of the pyramids and land of perpetual elections #EgyElections

And the Arabist adds:

@arabist: Just heard of a voter dipping his finger in the judge's coffee rather than the ink pot. #egyelections

Meanwhile, Greek blogger and Global Voices Online author Asteris Masouras collects netizen reactions to the elections in this Storify round up.

Also, for more reactions, check out the hash tag #EgyElections on Twitter.

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Elections 2011.

November 30 2011


Hafenarbeiter blockieren 7,5 Tonnen Tränengas

Anna Giulia Fink aus Kairo, 29. November 2011 18:41

Tränengas wurde in der vergangenen Woche gegen Demonstranten auf dem Tahrir-Platz eingesetzt

Hafenarbeiter am Adabiya-Hafen in Suez haben am Dienstag eine Lieferung Tränengas, die an das Innenministerium gehen sollte, blockiert. Es handelt sich um insgesamt 7,5 Tonnen Tränengas, das aus den Vereinigten Staaten nach Ägypten gebracht werden sollte. Das berichtet die staatliche Tageszeitung Al-Ahram. Die unabhängige Tageszeitung Al-Shorouk zitiert einen Zollbeamten, der von Wutausbrüchen der Hafenarbeitern berichtet, nachdem das Containerschiff „Danica" mit der Tränengas-Lieferung angelegt hatte.

Tränengas von „Combined Systems Inc.", einem Waffenproduzenten aus Jamestown, Pennsylvania, wurde von Sicherheitskräften in der vergangenen Woche gegen Demonstranten auf dem Kairoer Tahrir-Platz eingesetzt. Einige kamen durch direkten Beschuss ums Leben. Die Straße, in der die meisten Zusammenstöße stattfanden, die Mohamed Mahmoud Straße, die zum Tahrir Platz führt, wurde aufgrund der vielen von Tränengas und Gummigeschoss an den Augen Verletzten von den Aktivisten „Eyes of Freedom" umbenannt. Der US-Waffenproduzent belieferte schon das Regime des ehemaligen tunesischen Diktators Ben Ali mit CS-Gas-Geschossen.

Al-Ahram beruft sich auf entsprechende Lieferdokumente, die Aktivisten von Hafenarbeitern zugespielt worden seien, laut denen eine Tranche von insgesamt 21 Tonnen Tränengas nach Ägypten gebracht werden sollen. Ein entsprechender Auftrag sei vom ägyptischen Innenministerium an die US-amerikanische Firma ergangen.

Die Aktivisten am Tahrir Platz haben in der Zwischenzeit ihre Solidarität mit den Hafenarbeitern ausgesprochen, ebenso Aida Seif al-Dawla, Chef des El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, und Gamal Eid, Chef des Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), schreibt Al Masry Al Youm. (fin,, 29.11.2011)

Reposted fromshlomo shlomo viabrightbyte brightbyte

EGYPT: Muslim Brotherhood claims lead in Egyptian poll

Egypt's once-banned Muslim Brotherhood has claimed to be leading the initial vote count in Wednesday's legislative elections, the first free vote in the republic's history. The vote, staggered over a six-week period, is set to end January 11.
Reposted fromsigalonnewstv sigalonnewstv

Egypt: Tear Gas Shipment Raises Questions About the US

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Months after former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, and just days after many people were reported to have suffocated and died allegedly because of new types of tear gas used by the Egyptian police, a new tear gas shipment arrived at the Suez Port from the United States (US) a few days ago.

Photo shared by shadizm on facebook.

Photo shared by Shadizm on Facebook.

The story broke when it was reported [ar] in Al Ahram Arabic daily that the employees of the custom service in Suez refused to receive a shipment with containers of seven tons of tear gas in each, creating an uproar on social networking sites. Here is part of the conversation from Twitter:

@Psypherize: A new tear gas shipment 7 tonnes heavy just arrived in #Cairo from #Suez and stored by the #MOI. Get ready for another crackdown.

@RashaAbdulla: So apparently, the 7-ton tear gas shipment from the #US to #Egypt is only part 1 of 3. Total is 21 tons!!

@sharifkouddous: Suez rocks. Port workers in Suez refuse 7-ton shipment of tear gas from US to restock Interior Ministry supply

Later on, people knew that the workers will be subject to investigations for their refusal to receive the shipment:

احالة موظفي جمرك ميناء السويس للتحقيق الان لرفضهم استلام شحنة غاز مسيل للدموع خاصة بالداخلية
@3alaelhawa: The employees of Suez customs will be subject to investigations for refusing to receive the tear gas shipment.

Netizens were also worried about the government's intentions:

@elkammar: I pay my government to get a better tear gas, a better way to kill me and my brothers

And to show their solidarity with the workers, many Twitter users shared the following message:

أعلن أنا تضامني الكامل مع موظفي جمرك ميناء السويس الذين يتم التحقيق معهم الان لرفضهم استلام شحنة غاز مسيل للدموع للداخلية مصرية
@Ahmed_hosny_s: I announce my full solidarity with the workers in Suez customs who are being questioned now for refusing to receive the tear gas shipment sent to the Egyptian Ministry of Interior

Others urged employees in other Egyptian ports to do the same:

@AnonyOps: Spread the message to Egyptian port workers. Refuse tear gas at the ports!

The tear gas bombs in this shipment are manufactured in the United States, hence people are wondering how the US claims to support the Arab world revolutions yet continues to support tyrannies across the region.

@freddydeknatel: But what does that say then, when you’ve got tear gas shipments arriving in the Port of Suez with “Made in the USA” on the side of them?

@waleedrashed: To U.S. and European governments:instead of asking how can we promote democracy in the Egypt, just stop exporting the gas used against today

@KhaRouBology: To #USA .. SHUT UP .. Stop sending the f**kin chemical bombs to #Egypt. And then support our Revolution

Finally, it was reported that the shipment was released and headed to the Ministry of Interior:

من السويس : تراجعت ادارة الجمرك عن التحقيق مع موظفي المينا ..وتم تسليم 3 حاويات قنابل غاز فعلا الي وزارة الداخلية
@sayedfathy2006: From Suez: The port management decided not to investigate with the employees … and the 3 containers have already been handed to the Ministry of Interior now.

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Prince of Razor created a Storify covering this topic. Check it out for more reactions. Also, here is the transcript of the US State Dept comment on the tear gas used in Egypt.

November 29 2011

Democracy Now! 2011-11-29 Tuesday

Democracy Now! 2011-11-29 Tuesday

  • Headlines for November 29, 2011
  • Battlefield America: U.S. Citizens Face Indefinite Military Detention in Defense Bill Before Senate
  • Egypt Holds Historic Election As Military Council Resists Calls To Transfer Power To Civilians
  • Pepper-Spray Creator Decries Use of Chemical Agent on Peaceful Occupy Wall Street Protesters
  • Occupy Student Debt: Students Urged to Refuse to Pay Off Loans As Schools Hike Tuition

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Reposted by99percent 99percent
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Egyptians debate elections as protests continue

Voters torn between boycotting elections until demands are met and voicing their concerns at the ballot box

November 28 2011

Egypt: The Country Votes

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Elections 2011.

Egyptians are voting in parliamentary elections on November 28 and 29, 2011, and despite calls for a boycott, it seems that most people have chosen to participate.

Not all of Egypt votes on these dates; the elections are staggered across three stages, each covering nine governorates. The first stage includes the cities of Cairo and Alexandria.

Some people are not voting on principle, such as blogger and journalist Sarah Carr, who writes:

In case you’re asking I won’t be voting. Neither will several of my acquaintances. While there is a strong argument against a boycott (it might help keep out religiously conservative forces) it doesn’t sway my conviction that taking part in the election gives legitimacy to a regime that doesn’t deserve it, that has treated Egyptians like foolish children and whose only display of creativity during this never-ending transitional process has been in methods of killing people and building walls.

Ismail Naguib has also chosen not to vote:

For me, not voting has little to do with apathy. I believe that people should demand that an untainted civilian (perhaps in the form of a strong PM) or civilian council (perhaps in the form of Presidential Council) should be the authority to oversee the ministries who will manage parliamentary elections. Until that is the case I cannot, with a clear conscience, participate in parliamentary elections that grant legitimacy to a dictatorial force whose self interests are above those of the country.

Towards the end of the first day's voting, Mostafa Hussein was not convinced:

@moftasa: The voting was mostly free for a parliament that isn't.

And Sherief Gaber says:

@cairocitylimits: No matter who you vote for, the regime gets elected. #Egypt

Nevertheless, a great number of Egyptians have been voting, and there were long queues all over the country.

Waiting for voting papers to be delivered. image by twitter user @selnadeem

Waiting for voting papers to be delivered. Image by Twitter user @Selnadeem

Pakinam Amer was not put off by the queues:

@pakinamamer: Two hours on, still standing in line. You know, democracy is hard (!) #lol #egyelections

Nor was Twitter user @CokiCoussa discouraged:

@CokiCoussa: When u see the queue, u think it has no end, but it's not that boring neither is it that bad, it's actually motivating :)

Nada Heggy had a question:

@NadaHeggy: Why we can't vote online instead of standing in long queue that consumes hours and hours #Egyelections. #Egypt

Queuing to vote in alexandria. image by twitter user @mfatta7

Queuing to vote in Alexandria. Image by Twitter user @mfatta7

Mohamed El Dahshan remembered how this moment had been reached:

@TravellerW: Alright. Off to vote now, with our martyrs, protesters, and innocent prisoners in mind. #EgyElections #Tahrir

In the Cairo suburb of Zamalek, Fatenn Mostafa met other voters remembering those who were killed:

@FatennMostafa: A lot of women are wearing black in the zamalek queue! They answered: In memory of our #egymartyrs. #egyelections #Egypt

Despite the long waits, the complicated voting process, and accusations of violations, there has been a sense of excitement.

Voters in assiut. image by twitter user @laurenbohn

Voters in Assiut. Image by Twitter user @LaurenBohn

Canadian journalist Firas Al-Atraqchi spoke to voters in Cairo:

@Firas_Atraqchi: From talking to some of those in the queue I get an impression they are invested in the election process. They want to be heard #Egypt

Mosa'ab Elshamy was upbeat:

@mosaaberizing: Went to 5 different polling stations today. People are enjoying the queues and voting with a smile. Despite the violations, glorious day.

Mohamed Soliman was also optimistic:

@msoliman7: Proud of every Egyptian who stood or continues to stand in line to vote, the future is in your ink stained hands. #EgyElections

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Elections 2011.

November 25 2011

Egypt: Summing up the Second Wave of Protests So Far

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Thursday 24 November, 2011, and Egypt’s latest stage of unrest has now merged into Day six: it’s 4.33 am in capital Cairo. Supposedly Tahrir Square, Egypt, is under a truce for the night. But every ceasefire called in Tahrir over the past five days has been followed by a “Ha! Gotcha!” crackdown from police and Central Security Forces (CSF).

@mfatta7: The police violated the ceasefire in Mohamed Mahmoud. The youth will not back down now until squash the interior ministry.

The sullied white flag falls and a new volley of gas is blasted at the crowds of protesters occupying the various streets leading into the square - Mohamed Mahmoud Street and Tahrir Square itself.

This video, uploaded to YouTube by user TWorkx on 23 November, 2011, shows a ceasefire attempt between the Ministry of Interior and protestors:

In Alexandria, the unrest has been limited to marches between Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque and the suburb of Smouha, where the Security Directorate (Modereyet elAmn) is located. But despite the reportedly localised nature of the violence, at least one innocent passerby has been shot dead in the crossfire.

@RawyaRageh: Family telling us Sherif wasn't part of protest, & was just walking thru w his family when bullet hit his neck #Alexandria #Egypt #Smouha

At this point in time, the death toll in Egypt is allegedly just shy of 40 according to the Health Ministry as reported here, although this doesn’t seem to take into account the two deaths that occurred in Ismailia late on Wednesday night. Judging by Twitter reports from journalists on the ground in Alexandria and other cities, it is safe to assume that this death count is inaccurate. It’s certainly a number on the rise.

(List of Cairo’s fallen alone, as of Wednesday morning here. Numbers have most likely changed by now).

Ismailia’s non-violent protests reportedly came to a head close to midnight on Wednesday 23 November, according to this emotional call [ar] to Al Jazeera reporting at least one death from the field hospital.

Protestors on the scene also confirmed the death:

@MostafaAmin84: A 15 years old boy died in #Ismailia after security forces and army attacks on Al Mamar square

However, one man from Ismailia filmed himself driving throughout the city to prove that reports of clashes are merely hyped up rumours. All seems calm according to his footage:

Video uploaded to YouTube by user DouWorld on 23 November.

Meanwhile, news of clashes in Tahrir throughout the night kept flowing, as CSF and police reportedly continued their attack-and-retreat dance with Egyptian protestors, blasting them with tear gas and other chemical gases that are as yet unidentifiable. The one thing that’s clear, is the unanimous reportage of the gases' disturbing effects on the protestors.

But it’s not all bloodshed and mindless violence. The youth are responding to continuous state television media propaganda claims that imply they are aimless wastrels keen on aiding “foreign hands” in destroying the country, by putting together a list of their demands.

Actor Khaled Abol Naga, acknowledged to have been active in his opposition to the former regime during the revolution earlier this year, collected these points on his blog under a post titled, ‘From now on, our demands must be commands‘ [ar].

Although today makes it a total of five days of consecutive, sustained violence in Egypt, people are going about their daily lives as normal outside of Tahrir and the other protest hotspots of Egypt.

In fact, there are a great number of people furious at the protestors for disrupting the peace so close to the parliamentary elections set for 28 November.

The financial argument is another one that comes up consistently. People are fed up with poverty and the effect that protests are having on the stock market as well as their ability to work or find work.

@Sandra_Rizk: @mosaaberizing I have work to do I can't keep up with destroying Egypt and leave my job and work.. Excuse me for that.

Moreover, the same pertinent question arises – if the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) does in fact step down, who will lead the country?

@Sandra_Rizk: @mosaaberizing don't you want the army to leave? Why would they show up and help you! I don't get what you are doing to our country!

And finally, the one question that has caused people following the news out of Egypt much bewilderment: why now? Why did the people not wait for the elections, taking place in less than a week?

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

A longer version of this post was originally published on Thursday 24 November, 2011, on Miran Hosny's blog.

Thumbnail and featured image shows mass rally in Tahrir square, Cairo, Egypt, by Nameer Galal, copyright Demotix (25/11/11).

November 24 2011

Egypt: Popular Justice Tackles Police Brutality

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Malek Mostafa, Ahmed Abd El-Fatah and Ahmed Harara are three Egyptians shot in the eye while protesting in Tahrir square. Harara lost his first eye while demonstrating in the Day of Rage on January 28, 2011, against former President Mubarak, and later lost his second eye after being shot during the second wave of the revolution against the Supreme Council of Armed Forces.

@linawardani: I went to see Ahmed Harara, I said hi and stretched my arm, he didn't answer, he couldn't see me he lost an eye Jan 28, the second nov 18

Neither those members of the country's security forces who killed or wounded hundreds of Egyptians during the first wave of revolution, nor those who did it again in the second wave have been punished yet. However, in the past two days people have started to share a video showing a police officer shooting [ar] and someone congratulating him for targeting one of the protester's eyes successfully.

Popular justice

Since then netizens have been sharing snapshots of the video showing the officer's face and deciding to dig deeper and reveal his identity.

A snapshot from the video showing the officer's face. photo shared on twitpic by @sabrology

A snapshot from the video showing the officer's face. Photo shared on Twitpic by @Sabrology

Later on, users on Twitter claimed that they were able to identify him [ar]:

اسم الظابط المسئول علي إصابات العين وكأنه ناشينكان يتدرب عليه…ملازم أول محمود صبحي الشناوي. ريتويت
@ASU011: The officer responsible for shooting people's eyes as if he is targeting them … is Lenten Mahmoud Sobhy El-Shennawy. Retweet

As a way of naming and shaming the criminals, people also distributed leaflets [ar] and drew graffiti [ar] in the nearby streets [ar] about the officer with his name and crime written below it, asking people to find him.

Graffiti showing the officer's face for people to identify him. photo from facebook page, 'sons of the egyptian revolution'.

Another blog post published more information [ar] about what is believed to be his address, mobile number [ar] and a reward for whoever can arrest him.

There are different opinions about what should be done with the officer once found. Doaa El-Shamy sees that threatening him is the best non-violent option [ar]:

لا احنا مش هنضربه احنا نستناه تحت بيته يا يتحبس زي خرفان العيد يا يجرب ينزل وتتخزق عينيه ده القصاص لكن ولا نروع بيوت ولا نبلطج
@doaaelshamy: No, we are not going to beat him, we will wait for him at his home for him to be locked there like a sheep and to be scared of going out or else people will take their revenge from his eyes. However we will not attack his home or do any violence.

Abdelrahman Ayyash suggests [ar]:

أنا ضد قتل الظابط اللي اسمه محمود الشناوي اللي بيستهدف عيون المتظاهرين، لكن انا مع انه تتاخد منه قرنيتيه في عملية جراحية وتُهدى لأحمد حرارة
@3yyash: I am against killing the officer named Mahmoud El-Shennawy who targets protesters' eyes. However I am for taking his cornea after a medical operation and handing it to Ahmed Harara.

Ahmed Fikry made fun of the situation [ar]:

فى مصر فقط .. يضع الشعب مكافأة على القبض على ظابط شرطة
@dr_fikry: Only in Egypt: A bounty is placed by the people for arresting a police officer.

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights decided to pursue legal action against the officer, whilst Twitter user @MohHKamel [ar] believes that sharing the officer's information is a crime and should be stopped.

Other Twitter users have said that the address people are sharing [ar] is not in fact correct.

Another example of popular justice occurred when Twitter users such as @WagdyMez [ar] and @waelabbas [ar] reported that a pharmacy had refused to give some people medication when they discovered they were taking them to Tahrir square, the focal point for protests.

صيدلية سيف ترفض بيع الادوية لثوار التحرير…..كلنا لازم نقاطعها
@MariamHesham1: Saif Pharmacy refused to sell medications to Tahrir revolutionaries … we all should boycott them.

However, the exact opposite [ar] was reported [ar] by other users:

صيدلية سيف اديتنا حاجات ببلاش النهاردة للتحرير
@HebaFarooq: Saif Pharmacy gave us medications for free to [take to] Tahrir.

The question remains, whether popular justice is the best option when the legal system fails to protect people's rights. The examples in this post are certainly not the first initiatives of their kind; Piggipedia (@Piggipedia) used to profile those of Hosni Mubarak's security officers who were involved in torturing and suppressing dissent, by publishing their photos. Most probably, these will not be the last cases of popular justice in Egypt as well.

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

November 18 2011

Sous les révoltes arabes

La plupart des commentateurs occidentaux, dont la vision est déformée par l'idéologie du « choc des civilisations » et l'islamophobie ambiante, ont perçu les révoltes arabes comme des « miracles » incompréhensibles. Une multitude d'observateurs décrivent pourtant depuis plusieurs années les transformations profondes qui bouleversent les sociétés arabes et témoignent de leur vitalité, en dépit de la chape de plomb imposée par des États autoritaires. Ces analyses peuvent-elles nous aider à comprendre les événements de l'année 2011 ? C'est la question à laquelle cet article s'efforce de répondre, en s'attachant au cas égyptien, à travers la lecture de Life as Politics d'Asef Bayat.
Reposted fromcheg00 cheg00

November 16 2011


Elections 101: Egypt's new electoral system explained | 2011-11-16

An infograph by sums up Egypt's new electoral system. Click here to download pdf of this infograph.

By   Heba Fahmy / Daily News Egypt November 16, 2011, 5:41 pm

CAIRO: Egypt’s electoral system is “complicated and difficult for any ordinary Egyptian to comprehend and implement," experts believe, as political powers remain optimistic that it will help them secure a place in a parliament long dominated by members of the former regime.

The first parliamentary elections following the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak are expected to attract an electorate that traditionally boycotted elections. Over 18 million Egyptians voted in a referendum in March, an indication of voter confidence in a new era free of the rigging and electoral fraud that tainted the previous one.


November 02 2011

Egypt: SCAF - The Last Pillar of the House?!

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Over the past few days we witnessed the detention of the prominent Egyptian blogger, Alaa Abd El Fattah; one more civilian victim of the Military Trials is believed to be tortured to death in his jail; the murderers of Khaled Said (the case that fueled the Egyptian revolution) were recently punished with only seven years in jail; and until now, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces refuse to hold responsibility for the massacre the took place in Maspero area, earlier this month. All these incidents made Egyptian bloggers wonder whether are we back to square one? Or as Alaa wrote in the message he sent from his detention, and was translated by Sultan AlQassemi:

I did not expect that the very same experience would be repeated after five years, after a revolution in which we have ousted the tyrant, I go back to jail?

It is clear to many, including Amira Nowaira, that the Supreme Council for Armed Forces (SCAF) is not doing well in managing the transitional period in Egypt.

More than 3 weeks after the deadly clashes that left 27 dead (so far) and hundreds injured on Sunday 9 October in front of the Egyptian State TV building, Maspero, there are still more questions than answers. The only thing that is clear is that the brutal attack against peaceful, mostly Coptic, protesters, marks a dangerous turning point in the ruling military council’s (dis)management of Egypt’s transition and sends a number of worrying messages.

Not only are they said to be mismanaging the transitional period, but they are being accused of standing behind the massacre, as many stated here. And according to Bikya Masr writer, Hayden Pirkle, the Coptic businessman Naguib Sawiris too holds the Egyptian military responsible for Maspero massacre.

Prominent Coptic businessman turned politician, Naguib Sawiris, accused the Egyptian military of being complicit in the massacre at Maspero on October 9. Sawiris rejected that the violence at Maspero was incited by “infiltrators” and stated that it is the responsibility of the military to safeguard security, in an interview on Al Arabiya TV’s “Point of Order”

But how did we reach the point where the masses are to a big extent neutral to incidents like these ones and the majority even side with the army? A few months ago clashes took place in Al-Abbasseya district, and activists then wrote how the SCAF incited against their march for days on the state-run channels, and issued a statement the night prior to the clashes also carrying the same tone. And recently the same tactics were used in the Maspero massacre, and according to Amira Nowaira, the state TV was more blunt in incitement against the Copts:

This is the first time that State TV has been engaged in an open and shameless incitement against Copts. It did the unthinkable when it alleged that the army was being attacked by Copts and called on “honourable citizens” to come out to help defend the army, not realizing perhaps that it is the army that is supposed to defend citizens and not the other way round. This was tantamount to an invitation to extremists, bigots and racists to assault Copts on the streets.

And Elazul summarized the effect of the state media in the following paragraph.

Evidence only shows that not only were we opposed by Mubarak's group (including the SCAF), but also by a (large) segment of the population that until this day, curses the day we ever revolted, and considers us criminals & traitors.

Meanwhile, The Big Pharaoh added that the SCAF is also trying to deliver a certain message, not only the the Egyptians, but also to the US administration.

I wanted to know whether the Obama administration had gotten the message SCAF wanted to deliver ever since they allowed the Israeli embassy to be stormed. And this message can be summarized as follows: it’s either us or chaos in Egypt, it’s either us or sectarian strife.

Judging from the US’ mild statement after the massacre, I believe SCAF’s message was delivered. And it was not just delivered to the international community, but also to the general public as well. Fear and insecurity dominates the country today, and very few would like to collide with the military junta whom they consider to be the last remaining pillar holding the country together.

He then added that the delivery of such a message is like the green light for them that start a crackdown on activists and media.

This takes us to what I believe will happen to activists in Egypt. After ensuring that there won’t be much of a powerful objection from the inside front nor the international community, I believe SCAF will crackdown on activists and media unprecedentedly.

And this is exactly what many say is going on now. However, Abu Tawil mocked how the SCAF despite all this, is celebrating the raising of world’s highest flag in Egypt.

Naturally, in light of these troubled yet busy times and nearly eight months worth of their (mis)management, SCAF needed to take a break from trying activists in front of military trials, blaming invisible foreign hands for all of Egypt’s domestic problems, and decrying all protests and strikes for threatening national unity. Moreover thanks to the flight of foreign investment, dwindling foreign currency reserves, and an eighty percent decrease in the number of tourists, the Egyptian economy can afford to waste funds on useless public projects. As such, SCAF is proud to announce the raising of the world’s highest flag. Measuring 12 by 15 meters and flying at a height of 176 meters (14 meters higher than that of Azerbaijan), the flag has hoisted next to the dirt field where I play ultimate frisbee twice a week while patriotic poetry was recited and the national anthem was sung.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian parties are setting themselves for the parliamentary elections that will be held by the end of this month. And the importance of the coming parliament is that it will appoint the committee that will be writing the Egyptian constitution, however the deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs, Ali Al-Selmy, invited political parties in order to seek their agreement on constitutional principles that are seen to give the military extraordinary power.

On Twitter, the changes got much heat.

@abuhatem: The supra-constitutional principles document drafted by the government in Egypt gives military extraordinary power.

@zalali: New draft provides inordinate amount of power to #SCAF 2 intervene in the drafting of new #constitution. Some attendees left meeting. #Egypt

However Khaled is worried that people in the street might not be really critical to the draft as the activists on Twitter are.

@Khaled_A_: أكيد إللى هتسمعه من حد فى الشارع على الوثيقة الفوق دستورية: و ماله ما يكون فوق الدستور ده جيشنا ده هو إللى حمى الثورة ده مضربش عليكم نار

@Khaled_A_: I am sure this is going to be the comment of the people in the street about the supra-constitutional draft: What's wrong with the army being above the constitution? It's our army, and they protected the revolution and didn't shoot anybody then.

And finally, Mohamed Kamel wonders, if there is still a possibility for people to revolt again.

@MohHKamel: Would it be difficult to get people to revolt again after the last 9 months? No security, sectarian tensions, shaky economy?

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

October 24 2011

Egypt: Catch the Former Regime Remnants

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

Last April, an Egyptian court ordered the dissolution of the political organization that had ruled the nation for decades, the National Democratic Party (NDP). At the time, the verdict was considered by many, including the Egyptian blogger, Zeinobia, as one of the achievements of the revolution, and a punishment for those who contaminated the political life in Egypt during Mubarak's era.

She wrote:

This long waited verdict is the best slap on the arrogance of the NDP members “former members to be accurate” who do not want to give up and admit the crimes they have committed against this great nation.

Since then the word “Felool” [ar], which translates to the “remnants of the former regime”, has become the newest addition to the daily vocabulary of Egyptians. Mohammad Salah described the meaning of the word in more detail:

Between seriousness and comedy, the word “remnants” has become the most frequently used word within Egyptian circles after the Revolution. The remnants are the defeated, or the leftovers of the former regime: whether those who worked within the executive apparatus and assumed high-ranking government positions; prominent figures of the dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP); MPs in the People’s Assembly and Shura Council who would gain their seats through fraud; or people affiliated with the Mubarak regime even if they did not work in the government or engaged in politics directly – such as businessmen, celebrities, artists, football players and people the regime would use to promote itself or to justify certain behavior, allow certain decisions to pass and promote the issue of Mubarak’s son inheriting the presidency!

And while the Egyptians are getting themselves ready for the parliamentary elections in November, the remnants of Mubarak regime became a serious issue to many of them. Some former members of the NDP launched new political parties, and some others will run independently. Even when it comes to other established parties, some of them decided to rely on the popularity of some ex-NDP members to gain more seats in parliament.

Azza Sedky wrote how Al-Wafd - one of the oldest Egyptian parties - is accused of integrating ex-members of the National Democratic Party into its lists.

She explained:

However, even the Wafd seems to be having issues with its lists, as certain members insist on running in the parliamentary polls, while the party's high commission thinks otherwise. Mostafa El-Gendy, who recently resigned from the party, was among those who censured the Wafd for allegedly integrating ex-members of ousted president Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) into its lists.

Also Ramy Mahrous tweeted:

@RamyMahrous: Ayman @ayman_shweky claims some Parliament candidates belong to “Alwast” Party are ex-NDP #Matrouh #Egypt #Parliament #Elections

Issues like this resulted in many arguments either within the parties or between different parties within political blocs, and Bassem Sabry reported one of those example in his blog:

Reasons for the split include ex-NDP members running with the Egyptian Bloc, and also (of course) the allocation of seats within the Bloc.

A list of ndp spin-off parties, tweeted by maram adel

One of the proposed solutions was a law that bans members of the former Egyptian ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) from running in the upcoming parliamentary elections. However, this caused much controversy as some political forces view it as necessary for a real democracy in Egypt, while others have criticized it for setting a precedent of political isolation.

Such a law is still being studied by the Higher Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF), and it is hard to wait for it with the elections around the corner, so some revolutionary youth came out with another solution. They created a new platform under the name Emsek-flol (Catch the former regime remnants) to list all those former NDP members and the electoral districts they are going to run in. Zeinobia blogged about the website here:

Just like Catch a thief Egyptian political groups and activists including April 6th Youth , Revolution Youth coalition and The Egyptian National Council “Mamdouh Hamza” have launched a great website that called :
This fantastic website includes all the names of ex-NDP leaders and important members as well former NDP members of the parliament , local councils and NDP’s headquarters in all our governorates. It is huge fantastic work. You can find names based on governorates with brief details about their positions in the NDP.
The most interesting section is the cadres of the NDP , its leaders. That list includes very powerful businessmen who are untouched up till now. The website includes the names of the parties made by the NDP remnants, of course they are more than 8 now.

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

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