Egyptian ex-dictator Mubarak accused of torture

This video about Egypt is called Mona Eltahawy on Mubarak‘s “parallel Universe”.

From Aswat Masriya in Egypt:

Egypt: Rights Group Accuses Mubarak, Adli of Torturing Citizens

22 August 2013

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights filed a formal complaint to Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat demanding swift investigations into complaints filed by the organization against former President Hosni Mubarak and his Interior Minister Habib al-Adli.

The complaint accused Mubarak and Adli of torturing citizens and violating their rights.

The organization said it filed complaints, over the span of 25 years, to report incidents of torture and maltreatment as well as violations of the right to live.

Torture is one of the most brutal crimes committed against the Egyptian citizen over the past few decades, said Hafez Abu Saada, the organization’s director.

The organization based its complaint on the Egyptian legislation, which includes articles from the Egyptian penal code, as well as articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

THE DRAFT Protest Law to regulate the right to peaceful assembly, issued by Egyptian Interim President Adly Mansour on Sunday, has been widely criticised as an attack on basic democratic rights, including the right to strike: here.


Egyptian bloggers speak

This video, recorded during the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt, says about itself:

September 2006

An Egyptian blogger is facing eleven years in prison in the country’s first ever ‘blogger trial’. The case reveals the extent to which the internet is shaping political protests in Egypt.

“I think the blogs are having a direct impact on Egyptian society“, states political scientist Rabab El Mahdy. “They’re attracting younger people that we haven’t been able to reach through traditional routes”. Under Egypt‘s emergency laws, demonstrations are illegal. But in hundreds of internet articles, protestors are revealing their government’s brutal tactics and demanding change.

From Aswat Masriya (Cairo, Egypt):

Egypt: Blogging – From Expression Venue to Continuous Revolution

22 October 2012

Prominent Egyptian bloggers said on Sunday that blogging is still significant although it has developed to keep up with the rapidly unfolding events.

In a conference that grouped bloggers Wael Abass, Nawara Negm, Wael Khalil and Lillian Wagdy, Wael Abass said that even television coverage has developed to keep audience updated with the latest news.

Abass added that blogs initially focused on poetry, culture, analyses and philosophy, but eventually people found a need to learn about events in 140 characters and instant image-sharing, referring to Twitter.

Abass insisted that he does not see a difference between freedom of expression before and after the uprising, pointing to the sharp polarization in the media.

Nawara Negm said that the role of blogging is still essential in light of unfolding developments, adding that while she had refrained from blogging for a period, recent events have forced her to return to her blog.

“The current situation raises the need for us to explain our views. I see a second struggle that requires preparation”, the political activist and blogger said.

Wael Khalil argued that Twitter changed the understanding of blogging as it provided the people with a new venue where information sharing is very rapid.

He pointed, at Aswat Masriya’s headquarters, that Twitter is a comprehensive venue that reflects all sides and faces of a story, reflecting an accurate image of the weight of an issue.

He cited an incident in October of last year where reactions on Twitter stopped a decree from ever reaching the street.

Khalil believes that the advantage of blogging is that it is owned and controlled by the people and may therefore be used however they wish.

He added that social/new media becomes even more influential when traditional media borrows some of the issues circulating on it and offers it to a wider audience.

Lilian Wagdy said that before last year’s uprising, she worked in “traditional journalism” before turning to “the people’s journalism”, referring to blogging, she added that the act indirectly led to her being laid off.

Wagdy believes that “citizen journalists” have the option of whether to be objective but must deliver the truth as that is how mutual trust is developed.

She explained that people have developed awareness and willingness to investigate news and their sources as to act accordingly, in a period often less than five minutes.

Supporting Lilian’s argument, Khalil cited four incidents where photoshoped images circulated the web, adding that the investigation process done by the people is part of their learning experience.

Negm said that bloggers turned down an attempt to have them all unite in one platform in 2007, describing the approach as “bleaching a pavement”.

Agreeing with Negm, Abass stressed that blogging is an individual activity, not collective, adding however that bloggers could unite efforts for one cause, such as pressure to release a detainee.

Abass explained that his disappointment with traditional media is what initially gave him an incentive to blog. “An opposition newspaper wishing the president a happy birthday for instance and no mention of minorities, such as atheists, homosexuals, etc”, Abass said.

He pointed out that as bloggers do not work for a salary, posses little resources and do not abide by editorial policies of institutions, their incentives are very personal.

Negm claimed that while before the uprising bloggers were monitored by State Security, new forces and political factions are now on that as well.

An employee of Egypt’s state television (Maspero), Negm, like Abass, insisted that nothing has really changed, but the “revolution continues”.

She added that the uprising’s only advantage is that it let each revolutionary know that they are not alone, pointing to collective action.

“There is still a regime that plays the same game and opposition trying to expand their freedom venue. Supposedly the revolution began to change all this”, Wagdy said.

Abass argued that the ex-regime allowed calculated and monitored breathing rooms that the internet helped the opposition expand, leading to collective awareness and the uprising.

Khalil said that the uprising made known that the internet is not only an expression venue but a tool for action.

New Visions for Egypt’s Ongoing Revolution: here.

Sarkozy, Assad, Mubarak

Sarkozy, Assad, and Mubarak

This photo shows on the left Nicolas Sarkozy, by now ex-president of France. On the right Hosni Mubarak, by now ex-dictator of Egypt; though Sarkozy and his administration (like Tony Blair, US Vice President Joe Biden, and other NATO countries establishment people) tried desperately to prevent Mubarak’s regime from succumbing under the anti-dictatorial mass movement. And in the middle Bashar al-Assad, still dictator of Syria.

One day after this photo was taken was 14 July 2008, the French national holiday. Assad and Mubarak were then Sarkozy’s guests of honour at the military parade in Paris.

Nicolas Sarkozy, just before he lost the French elections, suddenly discovered that Assad was a dictator indeed. Similar to Libya: Sarkozy used to be a Gaddafi crony, before he became a warmonger about Libya. Not only did Sarkozy very suddenly discover that Gaddafi and later Assad were dictators, but also that the best way to bring democracy was supposedly bloody war killing and maiming many Libyan and Syrian civilians. Very unlike the Greek junta, Suharto in Indonesia, Pinochet in Chile, the apartheid regime in South Africa etc. etc. which all fell not because of any bloody invasion by foreign soldiers, but because the people themselves drove their own tyrants away.

The terrorist assassination of three leading figures in the Syrian government has been applauded by the United States: here.

It is not just Bashar al-Assad who is ‘responsible’ for the rise of Isis. When Amnesty revealed hanging in Assad’s prisons, we must remember that a few years earlier Bush and Blair were dispatching civilians to be tortured there too, by Robert Fisk.

Egyptian dictatorial law lifted after 31 years

This video is called [EGYPT] Protesters Tear Down Image Of Mubarak, Demonstrations 024, 25/01/2011.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Egyptian emergency law lifted after 31 years

Friday 01 June 2012

by Our Foreign Desk

Egypt‘s notorious state of emergency was allowed to expire on Friday, ending 31 years of almost unrestricted police powers of arrest and prosecution in “special” courts.

Since former president Anwar Sadat’s 1981 assassination, the security forces had been able to detain and arrest people without charge, keep them locked up despite court judgements and extract confessions under torture.

Abuses almost always went unpunished and human rights groups said more than 10,000 people were in detention under the ousted Hosni Mubarak regime.

Last year’s popular uprising that drove General Mubarak from power was partially fueled by anger over police abuses of power and lifting the law was a key demand by the uprising’s youth groups.

The military rulers who took charge after General Mubarak’s exit have said that they have no intention to renew the law.

They claim that they will continue to be in charge of the country’s security only until an elected civilian authority takes over by the end of June.

A run-off presidential election between the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi and former air force commander Ahmed Shafiq, who was General Mubarak’s last prime minister, is due on June 16-17.

The emergency law was a defining and much-resented feature of General Mubarak’s 29-year authoritarian regime.

It was almost automatically renewed every few years, the last time in May 2010.

Under the military rule of the past 15 months, a constitutional declaration put restrictions on renewing the emergency law, requiring both parliamentary approval and a public referendum on any reappearance of the state of emergency.

But since General Mubarak’s removal human rights groups have blamed the military for its own set of human rights violations through its use of military tribunals for civilians and detention of activists.

More than 11,000 civilians have been referred to military tribunals since February last year and there have been various allegations of torture in detention.

There are currently nearly 200 people still detained under the state of emergency and human rights groups have called for their immediate release or for legitimate charges to be laid against them.

Egyptian Court Sentences Mubarak to Life in Prison: here.

HUNDREDS of thousands of Egyptian workers and youth have re-occupied Tahrir Square in disgust at the light sentencing of ex-president Mubarak and at the former Mubarak regime’s Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq’s, participation in the presidential election run-off: here.

Egyptians demand end of dictatorship

This video from the USA says about itself:

Renowned feminist and human rights activist Nawal El Saadawi was a political prisoner and exiled from Egypt for years. Now she has returned to Cairo, and she joins us to discuss the role of women during the last seven days of unprecedented protests. “Women and girls are beside boys in the streets,” El Saadawi says. “We are calling for justice, freedom and equality, and real democracy and a new constitution, no discrimination between men and women, no discrimination between Muslims and Christians, to change the system… and to have a real democracy.” [includes rush transcript]

Yet another Western-backed dictator is set to fall from grace. The Shah of Iran, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein — they all refused to concede defeat. And they all fell down. Hosni Mubarak will, too, if he doesn’t review his history books: here.

End U.S. support for Egypt’s dictatorship! Here.

Egypt: Curfew Now in Effect — More People Streaming In: here.

Joel Simon: What Is at Stake With Egypt‘s Media Crackdown. Standing up for the rights of journalists may be our last, best hope of stemming an impending bloodbath that could go down in history as the gravest example of political repression: here.