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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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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.

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