Tag Archives: Freedom of Speech

Virginity UNcheck and SCAF Circumcision First

22 Jun

Gigi Ibrahim جيجي إبراهيم

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.”

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Rash Azab Facing Charges رشا عزب بعد انتهاء التحقيق

21 Jun

Rasha Azab explains her interrogation with the military prosecutor regarding the article she wrote in Al Fagr newspaper on military abuse and torture. General Hassan El Rouieny has filed a legal case against Rasha Azab and Al Fagr editor in chief Adel Hammouda accusing them of reporting false news and challenging national security, in which case they could face military prison sentence in a military court. Rasha Azab is now the first journalist to be tried in a military court for writing an article criticizing SCAF. It is completely unacceptable and wrong that this would be happening to a journalist in a post-revolution Egypt, which demanded freedom of press and freedom of speech.

Rasha Azab Summoned by Military Prosecutor

18 Jun

Rasha Azab @Rashapress

Journalist and activist Rasha Azab together with Adel Hammouda, editor in chief of Al Fagr Newspaper, have been summoned to appear tomorrow morning 11:00 am in front of the military prosecutor at C28 for publishing an article on military torture cases. Not long ago did the SCAF also summon journalist Hossam El-Hamalawy and TV presenter Reem Maged for criticizing SCAF and espceially Lawa Hamdy Baddeen on Baladna Bel Masry on OnTV.

The Article that Rasha Azab wrote in Al Fagr newspaper discussed the already known testimonies, cases of torture, and military police confrontations of abuse with civilians featured in Tahrir Diaries blog. Rasha was one of the people arrested during the March 9th military police crackdown, here is her testimony:

I am outraged that I find every couple of weeks or days a friend of mine or someone I know is summoned by military prosecutor, arrested, or sentenced for criticizing SCAF or protesting. We had a revolution for freedom of speech and the independence of press; however, nothing have changed. The taboo used to be Mubarak and now it is SCAF. The only way we can challenge this taboo is by breaking it and demand our right to criticize; NO BODY is above accountability especially those in power. The people are the red line and any journalist doing his or her job of exposing the truths about those in power should be rewarded or at least left alone not summoned and harassed!

Since the only thing that is working in this country at the moment is pressure from below, we are planning a stand in support with Rasha Azab and Adel Hammouda tomorrow morning at 10:30 in front of the military prosecutor in Naser City, please join. Let’s remember how Hossam El-Hamalawy was going for an interrogation and the only thing that saved him and turned it into a “chat over coffee” was the media and street pressure that we created. Tomorrow will be the same, we will not give up, we will not back down, Freedom freedom until victory!!

Down with SCAF!

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