Tag Archives: Police

A Militarized Media: a dirty war making many of us blind

20 Aug

Ever since the darkest day in Egypt’s history 14 August 2013, when over 800 people were killed by security forces in dispersing the over a month-long pro-Morsy Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins, Egyptians have been under curfew from 7pm to 6am in 10 provinces mostly resorting to TV for information and news.

Over 50 churches have been attacked and burnt in Upper Egypt following the dispersal of the sit-ins, yet very little media coverage on them except when MB are being blamed for it. Some police stations have also been attacked and police brutally murdered in Kardasa, which got the media attention because it villainizes the MB even more than the actual crimes they did commit in the past.

Meanwhile, Sinai has been witnessing its fair share of attacks on various security points and stations over the past weeks, but most recently yesterday, where the media for the first time, aired corpses of 25 conscripts killed and covered in Egyptian flags coming down from a military plane straight from Sinai.

The unrest, clashes and deaths continued reaching the death toll to over 1600 including a number of journalists. Hundreds have been arrested and many are still missing.

On 19 August 2013, 38 additional prisoners were killed in police custody while being transferred to prison. They were killed allegedly with suffocation by excessive tear gas fired inside the truck. The Egyptian media on the other hand, is not really interested in that since the pictures of bodies are extremely graphic, and would suggest to confirm that story and would make MB “victims,” which is the one thing MB are not in the eyes of Egyptians as directed by SCAF’s media propaganda and MB’s long history of crimes and violence.

The very following day, 25 conscripts were killed in Sinai in an armed attacked, which quickly spun the media to erase any speculations about what really did happened to those 38 prisoners killed by suffocation, and almost instantly all media outlets focused solely on the killed conscripts except Aljazeera.

The media has been a crucial player in directing and polarizing the discourse of the unfolding of events in Egypt. We have state media and several privately-owned Egyptian channels that include CBC, Dream, Nahar, Tahrir, Mehwar Sada El Balad, Qahera Wal Nas, and OnTV, all singing the same chorus of SCAF’s version of the discourse of what has taken place in Egypt since June 30th onwards.

More ridiculously, all have put some variation of “Fighting Terrorism” badge permanently on their screens. OnTV and Mehwar channels have even dubbed their 2nd channels with live English translation in hopes of getting the message to the western press, which has been accused of failing to show “MB as terrorists monsters who are burning down and killing Egypt.”

Inciting one-minute promo videos of “Egypt above all” and “The People of Egypt against Terrorism” mixed with two-seconds shots of Youtube videos from the clashes showing armed men attacking others, and rapid Independence- Day background music replaces commercial breaks and puts Bush’s “Fight on Terrorism” campaign to shame.

On the other hand, we have some international and regional media who are picking sides. The most favorite example is Aljazeera and CNN, whom have pre-selected guests that only represent pro-MB’s arguments and ignoring the other camp’s argument.

Aljazeera has streamed almost every MB event since the start of the Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins and been the leading voice of the MB.

On the international level, CNN has become the American version of Aljazeera. Also pre-selecting guests who are mostly on MB’s side and has shown a lack of investigative balanced coverage. I even got a call from CNN to comment on Rabaa’s massacre and when I told the reporter I denounce the massacre, but I am against both SCAF and MB, she said she will call me back, and never did.

Aljazeera has been very unwelcome in general in Egypt lately, but since Rabaa sit-in, it has basically become the MB’s mouthpiece and in return viciously attacked by Egyptian media and on the streets. The Aljazeera in Egypt have had its office closed after security has confiscated cameras since the 3rd of July by police forces following the removal of Morsy.

In addition to the anti-Aljazeera hate posters on the streets, Aljazeera journalists have been banned from state official press conferences and forced out by journalists from conferences at times. Not to mention the Aljazeera journalists Mohamed Badr and Abdullah Al Shaimy unlawful arrests and continuation of their detention.

ajhandresized

“The makers of sectarianism”

To be fair, Aljazeera hasn’t sunk to the level of ONTV. Every now and then it at least invites an opposition figure to comment on the phone and even Hassan Shahin, Tamroud’s spokes person was invited via the phone recently.

One of the main videos circulated on OnTV to show how “Aljazeera is lying and unprofessional” is this video of the Fatth Mosque scene, where hundreds of MB supporters were under siege surrounded by security forces and thousands of “residents” who wanted to basically kill them. The video shows a fire extinguisher being blown from the inside of the mosque, the footage itself doesn’t suggest that tear gas has been fired or why the people inside the mosque used it, but OnTV presenter Youssif El Hussieny chooses to decides for all of us and keeps repeating the image saying that the extinguisher was used to make “tear gas effect” and attacks Aljazeera for fabricating tear gas being used.

Whether tear gas was fired or not, no one knows, but certainly Youssif EL Husseiny doesn’t know. Nor Aljzeera or OnTV wins for fabricating news, they both failed to deliver to the viewer why the extinguisher was used in the first place (since that’s the only thing visible in this footage) or provide the evidence that supports their report.

It also doesn’t help when some of the subjects you are reporting on are lairs themselves. Here is a video that was also widely shown on OnTV of course by Youssif El Husseiny over and over of a “wounded person” inside Fattah mosque, who is actually not wounded. As the person removes the hand of the doctor not wanting him to undercover his shirt, the doctor lifts the shirt and we all see that there is no wound underneath the blood stain and it is at best acting. This time is ok to use “liars” Aljazeera footage because it serves OnTV’s propaganda.

On the other end of extremes, some some Egyptians are raving Fox News for being on SCAF’s side and pushing for the same propaganda rhetoric against MB. And of course, none other than OnTV rebroadcasted it to all Egyptian viewers who might have missed it. Here is the video from OnTV’s channel not Fox.

Aljazeera streams live coverage of all MB events and sit-ins while OnTV cheerfully streams live coverage of army arresting citizens breaking curfew and shoving them like sardines in police vans.

The polarization in media is given by two extreme discourses that are ignited by covering-up truths, showing 2-minute videos dubbed with racist and fascist explanations, telling you what you should and should not believe about them. This is done by supposedly “professional” presenters whose job’s titles are professional “journalists.”

Best example is the racist and fascist Youssif El Husseiny of OnTV, who speaks for hours on ONTV and says things like “When our state fights terrorism, we must put human rights to the side.” He invites guests that only applaud his rhetoric.

All the guests on the Egyptian channels are chauvinists political pundits, who are  borderline fascists, promoting sectarianism against MB, inviting vigilant committees to help police and army to catch those “terrorists,” while speaking the words of “conspiracy against Egypt,” and instilling fear in people in order to comply with military rule.

Anyone who speaks of “reason” now, or even takes a position against both MB and SCAF, is labeled a traitor or MB, yeah because MB now is in an insult to some degree.

Those who are not praising the massacring of MB are not “Egyptian” enough to many of those TV presenters. Those who are voicing human rights violations get to be accused of being a “mob” by Youssef El Husseiny live on OnTV, or made fun of on social media.

The actual journalists on the ground who are attempting to get the truth and cover the deadly clashes taking place on a daily basis are like Sarah Carr, who wrote about the scrutiny especially foreign journalists face, are too few to raise the voice of reason over the voices of two extremes.

Simply there is no real coverage of what is happening in Egypt, only smears of half truths spun to either sides’ argument and a majority apathetic to bloodshed. Thankfully, we, at least some of us, still have our brains and can use it to assess the information given by any outlet, analyze it, and may be get a glimpse of the truth.

Many of the videos and pictures either side provides usually says more if looked at after muting the provided explanation given by the presenter. Here is an example, this video has been widely circulated on OnTV, described as “Oh look at what the MBs are doing in Rabaa, getting bodies from under the stage before the police attack,” implicating that MB killed those people during the month-long sit-in and are now moving the bodies as their own killed before the police catches them.

The video actually doesn’t provide you anything close to the conclusion that Khaled Tallima, OnTV presenter, has provided. If you actually ignore his explanation and mute the speakers in the video, all what one will see is people in Rabaa moving dead bodies from one place to another while loud gunfire is being shot in the background. It doesn’t tell you who these bodies are, when they were killed or how, where they were placed or killed and definitely doesn’t tell you by whom by just looking at this 2-min footage. The footage was shot by someone who is overlooking Rabaa and in the background all you can hear, “look at how they are placing the dead bodies on the floor.”

There is endless footage like this, where one simply cannot know for certain the full story. All we are getting are sides of half stories skewed with opinions shoved down our throats, and a blistering pro-SCAF, pro-police state propaganda throughout all media outlets, as if the endless list of vicious crimes committed by police and SCAF have been magically erased from our memories. Well at least for some of us, we still remember and will never forget… here is a reminder

The control through fear may control some of us, but definitely not all of us. If Sisi thinks that we are back in the days, when you can control people through curfews, emergency law, media blackout, and a “terrorism scare,” well, we no longer live in 1990s let alone 1954.

The people will soon get disillusioned in SCAF and see their crimes just like people did under Mubarak and under Morsy. Dictatorships are weak because they rely on instilling fear and the passivity of the people to not revolt. We will not be sedated for long under curfew, soon life will go back to “normal” and we will rise up again, just like every time we thought that the revolution is “dead,” and hopefully, this time we will win.

Clashes with police continue

5 Feb

 

 

 

 

Tear gas and bullets are still being fiercely used by police against protesters around the ministry of interior for the third day in a row following the deadly football massacre in Port Said that resulted in more than 70 dead. The clashes in Cairo have intensified as police refusing to end the violence and the protesters determined to hold SCAF & police accountable for the deaths and injures of Egyptians. on the front line of battles, revolutionaries are never hesitant or afraid, they resist, they fight back with courage and bravery. Long live our glorious Egyptian revolution

ACAB: Expect Resistance

4 Feb

 

 

After deadly clashes at Port said stadium resulting in 79 deaths of Ahly Ultras members, revolutionaries battle the police once again on Mohamed Mahmoud & Mansour st near Ministry of Interior.

The battle with police entered its second day with no sign of unrest on both sides. Protesters were resisting the police bullets and tear gas. All revolutionaries are holding SCAF & police responsible of these deadly clashes that is resulting in 1000s of injuries and at least 6 dead (Suez & Cairo) so far.

 

 

Many people have the misconception about how “peaceful” is the Egyptian revolution, but i bet you, these people have not been at the front lines of battles. Every time revolutionaries clash with police, the most militant youth are right there resisting and never backing down. Over the past few months, we even got better at it. Tear gas gets thrown, and we throw it right back at the police. This video just gives you a glimpse of what revolution looks like. Revolution = resistance = victory

January Flashback

2 Jan

 

 

These days last year, we were running from city to city protesting sectarian strife post the deadly bombing of Alexandria church 20 minutes into the new year. We chanted death to Habib El Adly, we demanded justice and to hold those in power accountable for not protecting churches, and repressing us for asking for our dignity and equality. While crackdowns on Tunisian revolutionaries were taking place, activists in Egypt were watching closely hoping for victory for what was known then as the #Sidibouzid up-rise. As fellow Arabs calling for freedom, we stood in solidarity with Tunisians in their fight hoping the domino effect would hit us soon and save us from our dictatorship misery. On January 2nd, we called for a stand with candles in Talaat Harb sq in solidarity with Tunisians that soon enough turned into a protest against police and sectarianism. The stand was held by only tens of supporters and was shortly raided by state police, telling us no one can stand here, four of my friends got arrested while Ramy Raoof and I ran down on Talaat Harb st escaping police after my phone was almost broken by a police officer when I was trying to take a video.

 

 

 

We regrouped with more supporters on the way, and we marched down the streets of Talaat Harb chanting “To Mohamed tell Bolus, tomorrow Egypt will be Tunisia,” a chant that combined Muslim and Christian unity in the face of sectarianism for a better free Egypt in support of the Tunisian revolution. We marched down Ramsis st and immediately we were met by hundreds of riot police, and finally cordoned for nearly 8 hours without anyone allowed in or out of the cordon for any reason.

 

 

Along with Mona Seif, Ramy Raoof, Haitham Mohamedain, Aida Seif, and many other brave souls, we stood there chanting, tweeting, never giving up, and telling those officers, “Tomorrow when the revolution comes, it will put you in prison.” The night ended, we went home, and protested again in Shubra in solidarity with our Christian brothers & sisters at El Massara church sit-in, where I also was cordoned for nearly 10 hours by riot police while thousands clashed with police on Shubra st.

 

January 7th, the Coptic Christian holiday, was spent differently. Muslims and non-Muslims went to form human chains around churches on midnight for Christians to have a safe mass. Later that day, we stood in black with candles on Kasr El Nile bridge mourning the loss of our Christian brothers and sisters from the Alexandria church bombing.

A year later to think that we had multiple churches attacks, whether in Imbaba in April or Aswan in October, post a revolution that happened only weeks after the kind of solidarity & unity shown post Alexandria church bombing is incomprehensible, but explainable. It is explainable by one reason and one reason only because the regime is still alive and kicking. The people STILL demand the removal of regime. Sectarian strife has been one of the many tools used by the regime to divide and rule people, so it is not a surprise that attacks against minorities do still happen, but unfortunately, they happen at a greater loss and more viciously.

 

 

Who can ever forget that the same army who is supposed to protect its civilians could run-over Christians with military tanks? The loss of Mina Daniel and others makes you wonder at what cost will we win this revolution? The answer is clear and seen everyday and in every revolutionary’s eyes in Tahrir willing to die for Egypt to live.

I have no doubt that with this kind of support, courage, and bravery, we will free Egypt from SCAF, which is the same regime that killed and repressed us since 1952. This year, the year of freedom, as I am calling it, will be different and it already has since we started the year celebrating in Tahrir, Muslims & Christians, hand in hand against SCAF. Welcome 2012…

Martyr Essam Atta Funeral – جنازة الشهيد عصام عطا

29 Oct

On the same day Khaled Said murderers were sentenced to only 7 years in prison, another crime was being committed to another Khaled-said-like but in Torra prison. Meet Essam Atta , 23 year-old martyr tortured to death at the hands of police at Torra prison on 27 October 2011. Essam Atta was falsely sentenced to 2 years in prison after going through a military court post revolution. After being sexually abused to death according to eyewitnesses in prison and his own testimony to his sister on the phone minutes before his death, the officials at the morgue had the audacity to claim his death to “swallowing drugs.” It seems like any innocent man that gets tortured to death by police miraculously happen to have “drugs” stuck in his throat. Another Khaled Said after a revolution that was sparked on police day calling for an end to torture. What will it take? 1000s of Khaled Said?!! Even if it takes millions of martyrs for torture to end in Egypt, it still won’t stop us fighting for our rights! The blood of our brothers & sisters won’t die in vain. Either we live to avenge them or we die like them…

Police Corporals Take Tahrir to MOI

28 Oct


Police corporals
have taken Tahrir to their work place not only demanding the unfulfilled 200% raise, but most importantly calling for the restructure of the ministry out of the corruption & the management belonging to the ousted & imprisoned ex-minister Habib El Adly. The videos show some low-rank officers during the sit-in in front of MOI speaking about their demands, against military trials, and against Habib El Adly, who recently undergone eye surgery at the Police Hospital even though he is a prisoner. My brief talk with them gave me the final conclusion that low-rank police officers are the bottom of the police business pyramid, so they are exploited the most and now they are speaking, organizing, and acting as workers not as policemen who harass us everyday. Our solidarity is needed because any striking worker is the backbone of this revolution.

Military Police Piggipedia

5 Jul

Rasha Azab confronting a military officer she believes was there in the Egyptian Museum on March 9th during the arrests and abuse conducted on protesters from Tahrir. He refused to take off his sunglasses when she asked him to take it off. If anyone recognizes him or knows his name please let me know. You can find more pigs here.

Military Police Officer

Military General

June 28: CSF Attack an Empty Tahrir – قوات الامن المركزي تقتحم التحرير

5 Jul

 

This video was shot on June28th around 10:30 pm showing CSF officers entering an empty Tahrir while beating protesters with rocks. The police started attacking people in Tahrir saying that they are running after “thugs” when nothing apparent was happening. These clashes lasted until 3:00 pm the following day with over a 1000 injuries from tear gas, shrapnel & rubber bullets. The police hasn’t changed; it has been 5 months exactly since the revolution and nothing has changed especially when it comes to police pigs.

The Families of Martyrs Speak – اهالي الشهداء يطالبون بالقصاص

5 Jul

The families of martyrs started a sit-in in front of Maspero on Friday June 24th demanding the prosecution of police officers engaged in the killing of their sons and daughters during the 18 days of the up-rise since Jan25. The sit-in lasted 5 days. After the Balloon Theater clashes with police, the families decided to end the sit-in empty handed with no media attention whatsoever in the 5 days of the sit-in. I went to the sit-in everyday, and spoke with many of the families there, who come from different cities all over Cairo, and Egypt including Sinai & upper Egypt. The families of martyrs have been under a lot of pressure from police (directly & indirectly) to change their testimonies in return of money, but every single person I spoke with said, “not with all of the world’s money, would I sell my son’s blood.” These families have lost their sons & daughters and all they demand is justice to be served; for every killer to be prosecuted transparently and sufficiently.

Families of Martyrs

What surprised me the most is that without this, what many called “insignificant” sit-in, the now on-going Tahrir sit-in would not have happened this way and the central security forces confrontation in Tahrir the night of June28th would not have happened, which is exactly what’s bringing back the revolution’s momentum. There were many divisions within opposition on what to focus on in this period. Many are focused on writing the constitution first, others favoring parliamentary elections first, and my favorite group, who is focusing on “rebuilding Egypt” by painting the pavement 60 times over. The truth is, there will be no meaningful popular constitution, no real parliament that represents the revolution, and definitely no success in the revolution, IF we, “shabab 25,” don’t focus and win those battles that will make or break this revolution like this one. The families of martyrs battle, in my opinion, is one of many under-supported causes that not only have almost no disagreement on, but most importantly, it directly links all of the demands of the revolution that haven’t been met yet.

The families of martyrs are demanding the cleansing of the judicial branch through the efficient & transparent prosecution of murderers, the cleansing of the state police through holding the corrupted accountable for murder and torture, and the cleansing of media, which is not only ignoring their demands, but also tarnishing the reputation of protesters and jan25 martyrs. We are going back to Tahrir and all squares in Egypt with full force on July 8th, I urge you to join for the revolution, for the martyrs, for Egypt!

Sit-In Until Victory
Power of the people.

June28: The Second Coming of Rage!

29 Jun

Around 6:00 pm I was at the families of martyrs sit-in at Maspero, I found the place somewhat unusually emapty, when I asked, I learned that a group of them together with supporters had left in a march to the honorary celebration of the martyrs at El Balon Theater in Agoza. I wasn’t able to figure out for sure who organized this “celebration” nor why have the families decided to go and leave the sit-in. Soon enough, a group came back from Agoza telling the story and showing me the footage of police attacking the supporters from Maspero after the families & supporters were denied entry into the theater.

The families from Maspero along with supporters went to get into the theater, and they were denied entry by security saying that they are not the families of martyrs, so four supporters jumped the fence, and that’s when the clashes started. Immediately, the police showed up and started firing tear gas and attacking supporters & families of martyrs from Maspero with electric shocks shown in the video above.

I took this footage and went to Aljazeera Arabic, uploaded it, and was promised that they would report it, and left. As I was passing through Tahrir, I saw a group of familiar Tahrir activists saying that they are going to the interior of ministry to protest against the police attacks in Agoza. There were 2 trucks with plain clothed people heading there as well. I wanted to pass first by the CairoTweetUp first then head to MOI, I showed the tweeps the video and left to MOI with @3effat & @Sarrahsworld.

When we got to MOI, clashes had already occurred between protesters and CSF officers with an exchange of rocks throwing. I saw there @norashalaby & @Tahrekshalaby along with other familiar faces. As things were dying down, all of the sudden, I saw the CSF officers marching with sticks in the air towards Tahrir on Mohamed Mahmoud St. The protesters followed them not understanding whom are they running after. I kept asking what is going on? People who were there before me, told me that “they are running after thugs who came and threw rocks at the officers in 2 trucks.” Hmmmm these must have been the same trucks I saw in Tahrir earlier, who are these people? unknown.

We, protesters, ran towards Tahrir, and clashes between us and them, pigs, never stopped since until now (noon June29th). Many were injured, including Noor Ayman @NoorNoor1, who was shot with khartosh in the head< but he is fine, just couple of stitches. One reported dead, Amr Osman. The most disgusting part was the cursing and the words that the CSF pigs were yelling at us while shooting us with tear gas and rock. They were saying, “we will kill you! you deserve death ya awsaakh!” I threw rocks for the first time from the front of the line. I was not afraid. I was ready to die because freedom is not without blood. I got soficated with tear gas like many others including @alaa @Lobna @salmasaid . I left Tahrir to upload the footage that I have and the pictures that I took before my phone, camera, laptop, and flip all batteries went dead. You will find my videos from the night here soon.

Watch my interview with the Guardian this morning about the clashes:

Gigi Ibrahim on the clashes in Cairo from matthew weaver on Vimeo.

There is a call to stay in Tahrir, few thousands are there already, and more will join tomorrow. Alexandria, Suez, and Port Said also have mass demonstrations. Power of the people. Revolution until victory!!!

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