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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Help us #stopSCAF

On May 4 2012 SCAF launched one of its most brutal attacks on protesters in Abbasiya, claiming it was securing the Ministry of Defense. It all seemed staged, like the military instigated the violence. Witnesses confirmed that many army men were dressed as civilians and were shooting live ammunition at protesters.

Others claimed that the army had pushed violent thugs among the crowds to create or spread the violence. One piece of evidence that confirms such claims is Field Marshall Tantawi's picture in a hospital room, visiting military personnel injured during the clashes. What is so striking about this picture is that the injured men all have heavy beards!!! How many army soldiers are allowed to grow a beard? There are also various videos that reveal alleged SCAF deals with thugs that created the May 4 violence.

These clashes were followed with brutal attacks on protesters who took refuge in el Noor Mosque. Victims and witnesses confirm that army men stormed inside the mosque with their boots on (it is wrong to enter a mosque with shoes on out of respect & cleanliness). They verbally and physically attacked and abused the men and women inside the mosque, many of whom were not even involved in the Abbasiya protests.

    One female doctor, who confirmed that she was not protesting, was called names, pushed, beaten on the eye and hit on the head with a baton-like stick until she lost consciousness.

    Egyptian activists and human rights lawyers confirmed that close to 500  or even 600 men and women were detained on May 4. These included over 15 journalists, some of whom were beaten and brutalized. The detainees also included 15 females, who were released the next day. These women came out with horrific stories of humiliation, name-calling, beatings, more virginity tests and even threatened of gang-rape!

Crying, one female was saying that what was happening to the male detainees was much worse. She is right. Of the hundreds of young men detained on May 4th, only 12 or so have been released. Those who are out are giving horrific accounts of abuse. Halim Heneish, a law student was viscously beaten, with obvious injuries all over his thighs. Another detainee said all males were forced to take off their pants and boxers, sit on back of their heels and use water placed in buckets in front of them to clean their behind. He said they were told this humiliating procedure was a precaution to make sure they were not hiding anything!

    After watching multiple painful videos and listening to horrific accounts of torture, I am truly ashamed and disgusted of what remains of the Egyptian military. Egypt's army, historically one of the most respected in the region, has managed to turn into a barbaric torture machine, completely controlled by SCAF generals, who were hired by and continue to follow Mubarak's dirty path.

Where are the military ethics and values and code of honor? Even if the people detained were the worst of enemies and were prisoners of war, the military is still expected to treat them with decency. So how can our army men explain the inhumane and brutal treatment of our Egyptian brothers and sisters, who are not our enemies but are our family?

Shame on SCAF and shame on every single army member who takes part in such dirty tactics.

What is disgusting is how Egyptian media are almost completely ignoring the incident and the 100s of detainees who are in desperate need of media attention.

    In the absence of sufficient local media attention, it is our task as Egyptians to expose SCAF atrocities and reach out to world media and human rights organizations everywhere.

    There's a Twitter initiative by several activists to do the same thing. @LeilZahra, @evronia and others are encouraging people to expose SCAF brutalities using the hashtag #stopSCAF.

   I will update this post regularly with more links and accounts by released detainees on their torture experience.
We have to stop SCAF now! Jan25 instilled in us the strength and courage to stand up to our oppressors and fight for our basic rights. SCAF generals need to get the message that we are human beings and we have dignity and that they cannot abuse our courageous men and women in such a horrific way!

Here's a list of links to videos, witness and victim accounts on the Abbasiya attacks.

Comprehensive list of links on Abbasiya May 4 attack

Dr. Tarek's account on Abbasiya attack of Tuesday May 1