I find myself sleeping every night and waking up with nightmares and anger about SCAF. Before the revolution it was Mubarak and now it is Tantawi. From military trials, to torture, to virginity checks, and lately the prosecution of journalist Rasha Azab for exposing torture cases by the military, SCAF have left no freedom that they haven’t robbed. We must stand in solidarity with Rasha Azab, not because she is a brave, kind, honest, and wonderful human being, but because if we didn’t then it means we are okay with the behavior of the military that Rasha was exposing in Al Fagr article. She is the first journalist to be tried by the military prosecutor for criticizing the SCAF and exposing army torture. No constitution will ensure our freedom of speech if we don’t take a radical stand against censorship of press. Rasha’s case whether you agree with her personally or not is about this very principle.
If we let this case pass like Michael Nabil’s case, then we are falling in the constitutional trap SCAF is throwing at us, when in fact things on the ground in our daily lives are actually deteriorating. Those who are so focused on the constitution first are completely forgetting that with SCAF still in power, torture still practiced in prisons & stations, virginity checks conducted on female protestors, censorship of press & media, and evicted families still living on the street after promised national housing, no constitution will solve these practical issues without real pressure on the ground not on fancy paper.
I urge you to build pressure on issues that effect the daily lives of citizens today in the streets instead of focusing so much on the constitution. Although I believe drafting a constitution and building political parties is important, but it seems that the overwhelming majority of the political forces in Egypt now are focused on this while forgetting whom or what they are actually trying to help and achieve through this constitution. If the end mean for establishing this constitution is equality, democracy, accountability, freedom of speech, and justice, then why don’t those people also support cases that fight for those principles like Rasha Azab’s case, the evicted families living in front of Maspero, the family of martyrs on June 26th, the workers facing court this Saturday, and countless other cases. This is the revolution in my view. If we don’t win those battles that are fighting for the principles of the revolution, then we are not gaining any ground in this “revolution.”