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November 14 2011

Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725) & Francesco Durante (1684-1755)

2 Concerti (F. Durante) and 1 Motet (A. Scarlatti - Lauda Jerusalem - Psalm 147 [paraphrase])
youtube playlist (~30 min)

November 13 2011

Egypt: Homosexuals to Occupy Tahrir on January 1

Profile picture of the 'Egyptian Homosexual Day' Facebook page which reads as "We Do Not Want to Hide."

If Islamists were the ones to appeal as threatening to women and religious minorities in Egypt, then they are not alone when it comes to opposing passing LGBT rights in post-revolution Egypt. Recently, a Facebook page was established to promote the rights of homosexuals and to call on them to gather on the 1 January, 2012, in Tahrir Square to demand their rights.

Hundreds joined the page, not necessarily to support the demands, but to write homophobic comments, murder threats, and to cite Quran verses that show how Islam forbids homosexuality and defines it as a major sin. In one of the pictures posted by the page admin, a comment is written to define the page and to justify the rights of homosexuals to a normal life [ar]:

من حقنا الظهور في المجتمع بشكل علني لحمايه نفسنا و لحمايه المجتمع من اضطهاد المثليين لان المجتمع اللي لا يقبل الاخر يبقى مريض
We have the right to come out in society and to protect ourselves and protect our society from oppressing homosexuals because a society that doesn't accept the other is a sick one.

To explain why they have chosen to protest in Tahrir Square in January, the page had a post saying:

من نحن: نحن مجموعه من شباب مصر المثلي الجنس..نزلنا الميدان و شاركنا في الثوره..و نرى الان انه لنا كل الحق في العيش باحترام و علانيه..فنحن جزء من مصر الثوره ..فلا يزايد علينا احد
We are a group of gay Egyptian youth. We were in Tahrir and we took part in the revolution. We see that each of us has the right to have a life of respect in public. We are part of Egypt's revolution and we won't allow anyone to question our loyalty.

In one of its status updates, the page admin posted a message that s/he received from a gay Egyptian man, who was afraid to post it himself after he saw the insults and threats filling the page's wall:

ايه الضرر لما يكون في اتنين من نفس الجنس في مكان ما في العالم نايميين في حضن بعض؟؟ انا ضريتك في ايه؟؟ اخدت حاجة بتاعتك؟؟ اكلت اكلك؟؟ ايه؟؟ انا انسان احس واحب واكره واغضب واسامح وافرح
What's the harm if two people from the same sex somewhere in this world are hugging each other? How did I harm you? Did I take something that is yours? Did I eat your food? What? I am a human who feels, loves, hates, gets angry, forgives, and feels happy!

The page admin has also posted a note to media stating the reason behind rejecting interviews:

لكننا نعتذر لجميع الصحفيين عن عدم التواصل معهم..حيث اننا نرى ان تناول الاعلام لهذا الحدث الان سيؤدي الى احداث بلبله و ضجه اعلاميه قد تؤدي الى اجهاض اليوم من اساسه وارهاب شخصيات مثقفه وطنيه كانت قد ابدت موافقتها على المشاركه..و نرى انه من الانسب تغطيه الحدث وقت حدوثه وسيتم توجيه دعوات لجميع المؤسسات الاعلاميه في حينه
We apologize to all journalists for not responding to them. We think if media talks about this, there will be a big fuss which might lead to the failure of the national gay day we are planning. It will also make some national personages and intellectuals change their minds about attending the day after giving us their approval. We see it's better if the event gets covered at the time it takes place and we will invite media to be there then.

Another status came as a reply to all the threats that the page had on its wall:

الى الساده المصدومين من اعداد المثليين في مصر : احنا موجودين بينكم من زمان لكن انتم فرضتم علينا نعيش تحت الارض و دفنتم رؤسكم في الرمل كالنعام..ثانيا :كفايه بلطجه ومحاولات ارهاب لينا مش هانسمح لحد يشكك في وطنيتنا
To those who are shocked of how many of us exist in Egypt: we have lived with you for a long time but you forced us to live hiding. Stop you terror attempts; we do not allow you to question our patriotism.

The page has also posted a YouTube video which plays a written message from a gay Egyptian who says that he is just another citizen who contributes to the society and respects all, and expects to be treated the same in his own country.

The comments on this planned day that this Facebook page came out with were not only found on Facebook. Some people started to talk about them on Twitter. Ahmad Abdelhady (@Hadeezz) had an odd opinion on this that he didn't fully explain:

عامة .. حق المثليين جنسيا فى الزواج والمعاملة بدون تمييز ده انا بؤيده … انما ف الشارع ويوم وطنى ده تعدى على حرية الاخرين ..نقطة وكلامى خلص
@Hadeezz: In general, I support the rights of homosexuals to get married and be treated equally, but to have a national day out in the street is something I find as a violation of others' freedom. Period, that's all I have got to say.

Activist Mostafa Hussein (@moftasa) condemned the murder threats against homosexuals, but rather in a sarcastic way, as he attempts to put it:

أيه حكايةالناس اللي عاوزة تقتل المثليين دول كمان؟ هي ناقصةدم؟ طيب لو انت رايح تقتلة كده راح هو مدافع عن نفسه و قتلك؟ نسميك أيه؟ شهيد الشرج؟
@moftasa: What's the story of those who want to kill the homosexuals? It is as if we need to shed more blood? So when you go to kill a homosexual and he defends himself by killing you, what will we call you? The ‘anus martyr'?

An engineer called Hussain Imam (@kemam) tweeted several posts on the LGBT planned day and suggested in one of them:

بأفكر أعمل جروب لمناهضة المثليين دول بتوع 1 يناير!
@kemam: I think I should start a group against those homosexuals of January 1st.

Another Twitter user (@MiSrBtfHam) called on his followers to report the ‘Egyptian homosexual day' Facebook page to shut it down:

اطالب الجميع بعمل ريبوت للصفحه دي الحريه مش معناها كده المثليين ميتمحكوش في الثورة واللي عاوز يدافع عنهم يتحرق
@MiSrBtfHam: I demand you all to report this page. Freedom doesn't mean homosexuals rule the revolution. Those who will defend them should burn.

Egypt: Plight of Bloggers Continues at Military Courts

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

A military court today decided to jail blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah for another 15 days, 15 days after first detaining him, pending investigations on what defenders say are trumped up charges. Blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad's trial was also once again postponed until November 27.

Abd El Fattah was detained on October 30, after refusing to be interrogated by the Military Prosecution, in protest against its legitimacy. His arrest, and the international outcry it has caused, is shedding light on the plight of more than 12,000 civilians, including Sanad, who have been put on military trials in Egypt since the the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) took power. Abd El Fattah is accused of inciting violence against the military, stealing a weapon and destroying military equipment during the October 9 Maspero massacre, in which 25 Egyptians, mostly Copts, were killed in clashes between the military poilce and protesters demanding answers for the burning of churches in Sohag and Aswan.

Supporters wrote freedom for alaa abd el fattah on the ground outside the military prosecution building in cairo. photo by nazly hussein, posted on twitter

Supporters wrote Freedom for Alaa Abd El Fattah on the ground outside the Military Prosecution building in Cairo. Photo by Nazly Hussein, posted on Twitter

Abd El Fattah's trial coincided with Sanad's - Egypt's first blogger to be arrested and charged by a military court after the revolution which ousted Hosni Mubarak as president. Sanad was sentenced to three years in prison, for writing a post on his blog, which the military said was insulting.

The charges against Sanad are insulting the armed forces, publishing false information on his blog and disturbing public security. Last month, the Supreme Military Court of Appeals annulled the conviction but continued to hold Sanad, who had started a hunger strike, transferring him to a mental health facility.

Back in prison, Sanad continued with his hunger strike and his defiance to accept being subjected to the trial of a military court, a stance similar to Abd El Fattah's.

Today's rulings are seen by many as yet another blow for free speech and human rights in post-revolutionary Egypt.

The Big Pharaoh sums up the day:

@TheBigPharoah: Alaa refused to recognize the military court legitimacy, #MaikelNabil told his lawyers not to speak. Respect. #FreeAlaa

Rasha Abdulla adds:

@RashaAbdulla: Alaa Abdel fattah gets another 15 days in prison pending investigation. MaikelNabil postponed to Nov 27. Min of defence detainees acquitted

At first, news emerged that the Military Prosecutor dropped one of the charges from Abd El Fattah's accusations - that of stealing a weapon.

Alfred Raouf tweets:

@Kemety: will be detained for another 15 days, they dropped accusation of stealing weapons. He still refused recognizing the court.

And Azza Shaaban explains [ar]:

رغم اسقاط تهمة سرقة السلاح عن علاء عبدالفتاح لكن تهم التحريض واتلاف والتجمهر واستخدام القوة لسه لم تسقط
@Azza_Shaaban: Even though the charge of stealing a weapon has been dropped from Alaa Abd El Fattah, the charges of inciting violence, gathering, destruction of property and the use of force still remain

It then turns out that the judge “forgot” to turn the charge sheet to the next page.

Sultan Al Qassemi reports:

@SultanAlQassemi: Egypt Military Prosecutor: 's charge of “stealing army weapons” remains. Judge “forgot” to turn the charge sheet.

Farah Saafan notes:

@FarahSaafan: A Military Council that issues official statements on FB with judges that forget 2 turn pages during trials & can't protect minorities= SCAF

And Moutaz Dawood adds [ar]:

وبتجديد حبس علاء عبالفتاح .. يثبت المجلس العسكرى أنه لايجيد التفاوض ولا المرواغه .. ادواته الوحيده القضاء العسكرى والشرطه العسكريه
@Moutaz_D: By renewing Alaa Abd El Fattah's detention, SCAF proves that it doesn't master the art of negotition and that its only tools are military trials and military police

Meanwhile, Nazly Hussein reports about a defiant Abd El Fattah emerging out of court [ar]:

علاء خرج دلوقتي و هتف يسقط يسقط حكم العسكر من جوة البوكس

@nazlyhussein: Alaa just left and chanted: “Down Down with Military Rule” from inside the police jeep

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

November 11 2011

ROG fordert Ende der Verfolgung von Bloggern in Ägypten

Reporter ohne Grenzen hat heute eine Petition gestartet, die unsere Unterstützung benötigt.

In Ägypten werden Blogger und Dissidenten weiterhin verfolgt und inhaftiert, weil sie berichten und ihre Meinung äußern.Die Petition von ROG fordert die Einstellung der Verfolgung von Internetdissidenten sowie die umgehende und bedingungslose Freilassung der ägyptischen Blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad und Alaa Abdel Fattah.

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