Friday, March 28, 2014

The case of Rassd leaks in front the egyptian military court

Five persons are being tried before a military court tribunal in Cairo, including one soldier and civilians working in the media. The five defendants have been referred to the militray court “S28” in Nasr City, Cairo which began its sessions on February 24th, 2014 

Who are the defendants?

1 - Mohamed Abdel Moneim Ahmed Nasr, 23 years old, a former soldier, detained  since 11.11.2013 
2 - Amr Mahmoud Ahmed Salama Kazaz, 23 years old, founding member of “Rasd” news network, detained since being arrested from his home in 11/12/2013 
3 - Islam Mohammad Farhat Al-Homs, 23 years old, social networking manager and editor in “Rasd” news netowrk, detained since his arrest on 11.18.2013 
4 - Amr Abdel Moneim Faraj Faraj Darwish, Chairman of the Board of Directors of “Rasd” news network monitoring (fugitive) 
5 - Omar Mahmoud Ibrahim Sahin (fugitive)

What are the charges against each of them?

The first defendant is charged with illegally gaining access to classified material belonging to the ministry of Defense by entering the operations room of the fifth “smoke” regiment and copying video footage of a meeting between the Commander in Chief of the armed forces and the chemical warfare unit. This material is classified as pertaining to national security and is classified as top secret which may only be obtained by direct permission of the armed forces. By handing this video footage to the second, third and fourth defendants, all members of the “Rasd” news network, military secrets were broadcasted on the internet without permission. By copying the video footage, the first defendant, is charged of disobeying orders during service in the fifth “smoke” regiment.

The second, third and fourth defendants, who are founding members of the “Rasd” news network, are charged with inciting the first defendant and hence being accessory to the illegally gain of access to classified material belonging to the Ministry of Defense. The second, third and fourth defendants are charged of broadcasting this classified material on the internet through the “Rasd” news network.

The fifth defendant is charged with broadcasting classified military material consisting of 23 letters originating from the General Secretariat of the ministry of Defense.

The first hearing of the military trial was conducted in the presence of lawyers from human rights organisations, such as Kareem Abdul -Radhi from the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information. According to Abdul-Radi the second hearing was postponed from February 26th to March 2nd. The hearing of March 2nd was then postponed to March 4th to declare the fugitive defendants.

 
The military misdemeanor court held its first hearings on February 24th announcing the referal of the fourth and fifth defendants to the court and postponing the case to March 2nd. On March 2nd the court annonunced again that the fourth and fifth defendands were referred to the court as the defendands had not been informed and the hearings were postponed again until March 4th. On March 4th the military misdemeanor court sentenced that it did not have the jurisdiction to hear the case and referred it to the military prosecutor to take the necessary actions. 

On March 16th, the case was further referred by the military prosecutor to the military criminal court which started its first hearings on March 18th. On March 18th, the military criminal court announced the referal of the defendands to this court 
 the case was postponed again to March 24th. This was repeated on March 24th and the case was postponed to a new session on March 30th to allow for the needs of the defense to call witnesses and to show videos related to the case
again be tried in front the military courts journalists and civilians depriving them of a fair trial before their natural judge .

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Shoura Council 24 & Alaa Abd El Fattah to Face Criminal Charges

It was announced on December 9th that 25 people under investigation by the police for a protest held in front of the Shoura Council last month are to face criminal charges. This is part of a wider crackdown on activists and political activity across Egypt under the cover of a new anti-protest law.
The referral of the case to the higher Criminal Court marks a serious escalation on the part of the Public Prosecutor’s office.

On November 26th the well-known and internationally respected activist group, No to Military Trials for Civilians, called for a demonstration in front of the Shoura Council (the Upper House of the Egyptian parliament) to protest the failure of the current draft constitution to legislate against the military court martialing of civilians. The, entirely peaceful, protest was met with serious force by the police, who attacked demonstrators with a water canon and tear gas while arresting as many people as they could. Over 50 people were arrested at random and while several were released that day, 24 were held in custody.
Arrest warrants were later issued for well known activists Alaa Abd El Fattah and Ahmed Maher. Though both declared publicly that they would turn themselves in, Abd El Fattah’s  home was violently raided on the night of November 28th and both him and his wife were beaten by the police.
Abd El Fattah alone is charged with organizing the protest. All 25 are charged with: breaking the Protest Law by participating in a protest without prior notification, attacking and mugging a police officer, destroying public property and obstructing traffic. 23 of the accused are currently released on bail. Alaa Abd El Fattah and Ahmed Abd El Rahman remain in prison.
The referral of the case to the Criminal Court is cause for serious concern. A verdict in the lower Misdemeanours Court is open to two levels of revision: Appeals and Cassation. A ruling in the Criminal Court can only be repealed in the court of Cassation and the process is considerably longer, ensuring an extended detention.

It should be noted that the officers who killed 37 detainees by throwing a tear gas canister into a police transport vehicle in Abu Za3bal jail in August are being tried in the Misdemeanours Court while Alaa and his co-defendants are being tried in the higher Criminal Court on charges of calling for and taking part in a protest against the anti-protest law.

The activist group No to Military Trials have publicly accepted responsibility for the organization of the protest.  Indeed, several members of the group were arrested at the Shoura Council protest, yet all were released. Furthermore, on release six members attempted to turn themselves as the organisers of the protest, but the prosecution would not pursue it further. The widely accepted reason being that they are all female activists with high profiles around whom the public relations fallout would have been too severe.  This clearly shows the political nature of the prosecution’s behaviour and its intention to intimidate others from further dissent.
Mona Seif, coordinator of the No to Military Trials Group, says:
“It is clear where the invitation to protest came from. It came from No to Military Trials’ social media pages on November 24th. We take full responsibility. All the other people and groups that chose to join did so at our invitation. And although we turned ourselves in and although we faced the same charges the prosecutor’s office has chosen to focus on Alaa as the organizer when he played no part in the organisation and the 24 as if they were the only participants.The right to protest was won with the blood of our colleagues and an illegal law will not take it from us.”

The interior ministry is attempting to set a precedent which allows for anyone to be arrested on the accusation of organising a protest. In 2012 Egypt had more protests than any country in the world.
The Egyptian security apparatus, long the focus of popular anger and civilian efforts to reform it, are displaying many of their regular tactics, chief among them being police brutality and the obfuscation of due process.
POLICE BRUTALITY

The police responded to the Shoura Council protest with disproportionate and unlawful levels of violence. Protestors were beaten as they were arrested and several were sexually assaulted. The police used some officers in uniform, some in balaclavas and others in plainclothes. In detention the beatings continued. When the female protestors refused to be released without the men – aware of the political cover they gave them – they were beaten badly and forced into a police truck. They were then driven an hour south of Cairo and left in the desert at midnight. The 24 men that were kept in detention were beaten in the police station. And though they submitted the name of the principal offending officer, Hossam al Duba, it has not been investigated.
When Alaa was arrested two days later it was by an assault team of twenty officers, some in plainclothes. When Alaa’s wife, Manal, asked to see their search warrant, she was beaten as was Alaa as he was taken away. He was taken to an undisclosed location where he was left on a cell floor, blindfolded and with his hands cuffed behind his back. His family was refused any information about his whereabouts.
THE ROLE OF THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

Meanwhile, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, long complicit, has now taken on an active role in the obfuscation and obstruction of due process. The office is, by it’s own admission, completely subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior. An example: the police that stormed Alaa and Manal’s home took their laptops and phones with them. They did not have a warrant to search the house, let alone confiscate items. The lack of a warrant was confirmed by the prosecution, yet they still handed over the confiscated items to the police. When asked to how they could do this, they replied “because they wanted them”.
Locations for appeal hearings were changed multiple times on court dates. Food, clothes,  even insulin, being sent to detainees was stolen. Excuses were made to prevent lawyers from appealing Alaa’s detention, stalling until the case got referred to criminal court so rendering appeal impossible. The police and the prosecution work in unison to make legal, physical and psychological support for the detainees as difficult as possible, all in clear violation of their rights.
Meanwhile, in a separate but related cases, activists from Alexandria to Assiut are being targeted. Activists Ahmed Maher, one of the founders of the 6th April Youth Movement, and Ahmed Douma are being investigated for a subsequent protest that took place in front of Abdeen Courthouse on November 30th. The protest was attacked by police with tear gas and shotguns. Maher and Douma are currently in Tora Prison. In Assiut, Hossam Hassan, of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, has been jailed and arrest warrants for at least ten of his colleagues have been issued. In Alexandria four protesters are in prison and Hassan Mostafa and Mahienour al Masry, two of the highest profile activists in the city, were issued arrest warrants on December 9th. All under cover of the new anti-protest law.





NOTES

ALAA ABD EL FATTAH

The persecution of Alaa Abd El Fattah is a recurring theme in Egypt. He was jailed under the Mubarak regime for 45 days and again by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in 2011 - when he returned from giving a keynote speech at a technology conference in San Francisco to turn himself in. He remained in jail for almost two months, missing the birth of his son, Khalid. He also faced trumped up charges designed to intimidate protest under the Morsi government in 2013 along with popular satirist Bassem Youssef.

When the current arrest warrant was issued Abd El Fattah stated publicly that he would turn himself in on Saturday, going so far as to formally inform the Public Prosecutor’s office by telegram and registered letter. But the police violently raided his home instead.




AHMED ABDELRAHMAN

The only one of the Shoura Council 24 who was not released on bail. 28 years old. Originally from Aswan but lives in Cairo where he works as a security man for the gated community, Rahab Village, in 6th of October. On the day of the protest he was passing by downtown on his way to the bus station to go to work. He happened to be passing at the moment plain clothed policemen were assaulting and dragging two female protestors, so tried to intervene and separate them. This resulted in his arrest. This video clearly shows what happened.

During his interrogation the prosecution noted down that his bag contained: slippers, a loofa, soap and a small broken knife blade. He explained that his work shift is two days long so he needs these items. He didn't deny possession of the blade, saying he uses it to cut salad and food while at work. This is why he was not released with the 23 others.




LINKS: NEW PROTEST LAW







LINKS: ALAA ABD EL FATTAH’S HISTORY OF PERSECUTION

November 5th 2011 Blog Post from a New Prison


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Egyptian Activists Arrested in Growing Crackdown


Activist Alaa Abd El Fattah one of at least 27 people currently charged under Egypt’s new anti-protest law


Egypt is facing a growing crackdown on political protest and dissent under the cover of a new law designed to effectively ban protest in Egypt.


On November 26th the well-known and internationally respected activist group, No to Military Trials for Civilians, called for a demonstration in front of the Shoura Council (the Upper House of the Egyptian parliament) to protest the failure of the current draft constitution to legislate against the military court martialing of civilians. The, entirely peaceful, protest was met with serious force by the police, who attacked demonstrators with a water canon and tear gas while arresting as many people as they could. At least 51 people were arrested that day. Several were beaten and sexually harassed in detention.


The female protestors, when arrested, were also beaten and some were sexually harassed.  After several hours inside Police Station #1 in New Cairo they were informed they would be released. When they refused to leave custody without the men they were beaten again, forced into a police truck, driven out to the desert and left there. They were not charged.


Warrants for the arrests of Alaa Abd El Fattah and Ahmed Maher - both well known activists - were issued later that day for the incitement and organisation of the protest.It is well known that neither Abd El Fattah or Maher are among the organisers of the No to Military Trials group. And although Abd El Fattah publicly stated that he would turn himself in, and notified the prosecutor general of his intention to do so through official channels, the police chose to violently raid his home instead. At around 10pm on November 28th an assault team arrived at his house, some wearing plainclothes. They had no search warrant and when his wife, Manal, demanded to see one they were both beaten. They took their computers and their telephones. Their two year old son, Khaled, was asleep in the next room. Once arrested he was left to spend the night on the floor of a cell, blindfolded with his hands cuffed behind his back. Maher turned himself on Saturday November 30th, was released the following day, then re-arrested.


On December 1st Alaa Abd El Fattah’s detention was extended.


On December 3rd Ahmed Douma, another well known activist, was arrested from his home, also for the Abdeen protest.


On December 4th, 23 of the initial detainees were released on bail. Ahmed Abdelrahman was not [see Notes below]. Alaa Abd El Fattah’s detention was extended at a separate hearing, and so he too remains in jail. Maher is facing four days of investigation for a separate protest that took place outside Abdeen Courthouse.


The arbitrary nature of the arrests is made clear by the well-known fact that neither Abd El Fattah nor Maher were organisers of the protest in question. It was called for by the No to Military Trials for Civilians group, who have publicly taken responsibility for its organisation. The leading members of No to Military Trials are well known in Egypt, and are certainly known by the police. This move by the interior ministry is attempting to set a precedent which allows for anyone to be arrested on the accusation of organising a protest.


Egyptian activists have shown clearly that they will resist the oppressive new anti-protest law. Two protests were held the day after it came into effect - November 26th - and a third - on November 27th - saw thousands of people march through Downtown Cairo and to the gates of Parliament Street. Similar protests held in five cities across the country, including Suez and Alexandria, were held in defiance of the law and were also attacked. A protest at Cairo University, on the 28th of November, was attacked by the police, breaking the gates of the university with tear gas and shotguns. At least one student - Mohamed Reda - was killed. Meanwhile, in Alexandria 14 young, female supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood were sentenced to 11 years in prison for participating in a political protest. A protest held outside the Abdeen Courthouse on Saturday November 30th was violently broken up by the police with tear gas and shotguns.

Note that even under the new protest law, the violence with which the protests were dispersed was illegal.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Press Release >> The Presidency Lies





23-12-2012

They said the new constitution “prohibits civilian trials before military courts”

They lied.


An official press release issued yesterday by Office of the Assistant to the President on Foreign Relations & International Cooperation writes that the new constitution “enriches human rights and protects fundamental freedoms”, claiming that Article 198 of the new constitution prohibits civilian trials before military courts.

This is a lie.

Article 198 of the draft constitution put to referendum states that:

Civilians shall not stand trial before military courts except for crimes that harm the Armed Forces. The law shall define such crimes and determine the other competencies of the Military Judiciary.

Not only does the article clearly leave  broad discretion  for military courts to try civilians but it is purposely vague, leaving all options open for legislation, without in any way limiting the military justice system’s overly broad jurisdiction as set out in the existing law, the Code of Military Justice. The Code of Military Justice allows for civilians to be tried if one of the parties involved is a military officer or if the crime takes place in an area where the military is deployed. This has allowed for unfair trials of civilians for acts as inconsequential “insulting” a military officer. A more recent and striking example is that of the trial of twenty five residents of Qurasaya island on charges that included encroaching on army-owned property and being present in a military zone. Charges that directly contradict a civilian court ruling from the Court of Administrative Justice in 2008 (case no. 782/62), affirming the island residents' legal right to live on the island and farm it [read more].

The draft constitution is worse than the 1971 constitution with regard to the military trials of civilians since the previous constitution did not engage with the matter, and far worse than the 1954 constitution  – in which article No. 20 absolutely prohibited the trial of civilians before military courts or exceptional courts. Article 198 of the newly proposed constitution effectively embeds the military justice system’s right to continue to try civilians, making any further legislative reform unlikely.

And just in case the legislative body actually decides to protect civilians from the injustice of military tribunals, article 197 ensures that the armed forces will continue to retain influence over any legislation related to the military via the National Defense Council which includes the Minister of Defense, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, the Commander of the Navy, the Air Forces and Air Defense, the Chief of Operations for the Armed Forces and the Head of Military Intelligence, among others. Article 197 states:

The Council is responsible for matters pertaining to the methods of ensuring the safety and security of the country and to the budget of the Armed Forces. It shall be consulted about draft laws related to the Armed Forces. Other competencies are to be defined by law.

What presidency representatives also fail to explain in their press release is that an earlier draft of the constitution had an article (similar to that of the 1954 constitution) that clearly prohibited any military trials for civilians without any exceptions:

No person shall be tried except before their natural judge; exceptional courts are prohibited. No civilian may face military trial.
Excerpt of article 63 –Nov 11thdraft

The phrase “No civilian may face military trial” was removed from later drafts, to be replaced by article 198 in its present form.

It should also be noted that this is not an isolated lie. The presidency tries to sell the new constitution as being a ‘progressive’ one when it is anything but. For a primer at how this constitution endangers human rights please refer to HRW report on the matter.

This comes after a revolution that called for bread, freedom and social justice and after a year in which 12,000 civilians were unjustly put through military trials. 

Though they are striving for the appearance of legitimacy through this constitution our struggle against the military trial of civilians will continue. As will our revolution. 


Additional links:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Torture testimonies from the first weeks of the Revolution!


We sent out a call for people to write and tweet today to support us in our struggle to end Military trials of civilians.
You can see contributions from all over the world on twitter under the hashtag #StopSCAF

On that occasion we republish testimonies, documented at El Nadeem centerof torture by the army  in the first weeks of our revolution. Help us expose them, help us tell the stories of the survivors : 

Diaries of citizens under military rule

 

Student, 18 years old (3 Feb – 10 Feb) Met on 11 February
I was arrested on Thursday the 3rd of February with many others. They locked us up on the museum and then blindfolded us and put us in microbuses and took us to an unknown place, then they told us this is the intelligence building in Madinet Nasr. There they stripped us, beat us and whipped us. I was suspended from my feet for two days. They were asking me if I was with Baradei, with Muslim Brotherhood, with Mortada Mansour. Then they took us, still blindfolded, to the military prison. They stripped us again and made us sleep face down and beat and whipped us. There was a lawyer in his forties. His name is Osama. They beat him until he died> (Identified later as Osama Abdel Moneim Allam, MB lawyer, his body was delivered to his family on the 17th of February). There was also a blind man and they beat him brutally. A young man called Karim Amer was with us also and was released on the same day like me. An officer, his name is Ashraf, brought an electric wire and told me to hold it with both hands or else he will put it to my tongue and my genitals. I held it and flew in the air and fell. I was released yesterday (10th of February) (Examined by El Nadim).
Pupil, 15 years old from Helwan (10 Feb – 28 Feb) Met 1st of March
I was coming from Sharkeyya on the 10th of Feb at 4 a.m. with my dad. We were in front of the Fateh mosque in Ramsis. We were on our way home after we failed to visit my sister because of the curfew. It was 4 a.m. My father went to get some food. There was nobody around us, only two more people. Four tall people came, wearing sunglasses, dressed in black, the glass of their car was grey. They carried weapons and beat us with the back of the gun, the three of us. They blindfolded us and kept beating us. We all fainted. They put us in a car. WE drove for a long time. They took us to a place called ward 1, a group of cells. Adults were put 2 in each cell and the young 3 in each cell. They made us rum while they whipped us, they beat us with their hands as well. There were two rows of soldiers who would extend their legs so that we trip and fall. Then they would beat us again. Then two tall people came again with sun glasses, they would put electric wires onto us for half a minute and then rest of a few minutes and then repeat. The first three days they only used obscenities. No food, no water, no toilets. Then we got a piece of cheese and half a loaf of baladi bread in the late afternoon. That was the food. How would they wake us up? They would shoot in the air from the beginning of the ward. WE woke up to the sound of shooting bullets every day. The second week they would throw gas canisters and shoot at the ceiling of the ward. They beat us with sticks. They removed the blindfolded after 3 days. The walls were black and a small window 20 x 20 cm. the cell was small not enough for three people to sleep next to each other. A new person joined us in the cell near by. Don’t remember what time. He told us we are in Abdeen palace. Third week they kept telling us you have put the country on fire. We were 100 or less. I was the youngest. I had no ID. I gave them my school ID. I was released yesterday (28 Feb) after midnight. The father has not returned yet.
Five citizens from Mansoura (3 Feb – 10 Feb) Met on 20th of February
Five victims of torture in military custody from the province of Dahaqliya. All 5 men (except for number 2) filed a complaint and do not object to their names being published in connection with the torture allegations. Accountant, 47; Owner of small construction factory, 32; primary school teacher, 46; pharmacist, 32; and secondary school teacher, 43. The five were part of a group 17 men from the same village in Dahaqliya who came to join the protests on 3 February. They were confronted by more than 100 armed pro-Mubarak activists – who apparently included security forces in plain clothes – in the area of Saptiya (near Maspiro). The group from Dahaqliya asked to be handed over to the army. Two of the group managed to escape. The remaining 15 people were handed over at a nearby army checkpoint to Special Forces (Quwat Khassa) in plain clothes. There was no military police visible. The group was blindfolded and handcuffed. Later they were taken into a vehicle. They were threatened to be shot and that they will never see their families again. They thought they will be executed. The group was pushed but not beaten or otherwise ill-treated until this moment. All 15 were taken to the Mukhabarat Askariya in Nasser City. They remained at the Mukhabarat Askeriya from Thursday (3 February) until Saturday (5 February). Their testimonies:
- We were blindfolded when taken to and during interrogations. Interrogators asked about our political affiliation and links with the protests. I denied that I was taking part in the protests. I was threatened to be raped or killed. However, I was not beaten. We were kept in an outside area and as it rained we got wet
- I was interrogated together with 4 or 5 other detainees. Although I was blindfolded I knew there were several of us. The interrogator asked: what were you doing in Cairo? When I responded that I was on my way to the demonstration I was slapped in the face. The interrogator said: You belong to the Muslim Brothers. When I denied this I was slapped in the face again. The interrogator said: You should not lie. We talked to your brothers who admitted to belong to the Muslim Brothers. The interrogator asked: who pays you money to go to the demonstration. I said that it was my won decision to join the protests. When I was interrogated a second time I had to sign a testimony which I was not allowed to read. (NOTE: The blindfold was lifted just enough to make him see were to sign.
- The day before we were transferred, 22 detainees were called – including 6 from our group of 15 and were later released. We remaining 9 were called to collect our belongings (money and phones etc) and had to sign a receipt. Then our belongings were taken from us again. We were blindfolded and handcuffed. They put us in a group with others into a civilian vehicle – inside it looked like a freezer for transporting food. It had no windows and only a small van. We were driven to an unknown location which we later learned to be the military prison in Heikstep. The drive took about 1 hour. When we arrived soldiers took off our blindfold and handcuffs. We were ordered to take our clothes off – except for our shorts and to lie on the ground. There were about 30 soldiers – including from the Sa’iqa brigade – who were beating us while we were lying face down on the ground. They beat us with whips, belts, plastic cables and used tasers to give us electric shocks. The commander blew the whistle to make the soldiers start and stop the beating. The beating session lasted for about 45 minutes. We were told to line up to enter the prison block. While we were walking into the prison block we were beaten and tasers were used as well. After entering our prison block we had to stand in the courtyard where we were beaten by about 3 soldiers wearing uniforms. Some of us were in a terrible state. After about 1 hour we were told to dress and taken into our cells. The cells were overcrowded. Those with injuries were allowed to see the prison doctor for treatment.
- On 7 February we were taken to the military prosecutor for interrogation
- On 9 February we were brought before the military court who told us we would be sentenced for breaking the curfew and that the verdict would be pronounced on 12 February – however, we were released before that date.
- On 10 February at about 15.30 we were released. There were about 500 detainees released the same afternoon. we were driven in army vehicles outside the premises of the military camp in Heikstep and left on the road Cairo – Suez.
Ain Shams University Student (28 January – 16 Feb)
On the 28th of January, I and another person (who could not come with me today) were in a car along the cornice. We were stopped by a popular committee and they checked the licenses. We drove a little and they attacked us. We could not foresee this. They destroyed the car. We were taken by army officers in a small truck and handcuffed us behind our backs. We arrived at Qobri El Qobba (investigations). They said you’ll stay only for half an hour and then we will let you go. I said I was a student. Behind me stood a man who stabbed me with a knife in my leg and then I was hit hard on the back of my head. My head bled and they sent me to have it stitched: 20 stitches. Hardly the doctor finished his work I was blindfolded and handcuffed and taken to another place. Beating, electric shocks, stripping. Then they took us to the military prison for 17 days. Beatings and humiliation. They beat with hoses, shows, belts and with their hands. They even used a tree branch and then there was this electric baton. The food was very little, barely to keep us alive. No water. The cell was very small. The day they do not beat us they humiliate us. We would have to squat and if one moves one gets beaten. Saturday the 12th of February they took us to the New Valley prison (El Wadi El Gadid), first by train to Assiut and then in a prison truck. We arrived Sunday morning. Beatings at the entrance but to a lesser extent. Then the treatment got better. My mother looked for in the morgue and all prisons. She traveled a lot and was badly treated. In the train station we were beaten by central and state security, as we were the ones who ruined the country. Then we went to the prosecution accused of forced theft (we didn’t have anything on us), destruction of public property and breaking the curfew. There were volunteer lawyers we did not know. Breaking the curfew was established and we learned that they sentenced us to 6 months. That is why they took us to the New Valley. They released us on the 16th of February in the afternoon. They released us 15 each without money, without anything. We helped each other. The took our IDs and did not return them. We don’t know what is the legal situation right now. Nobody told us anything and we did not see any papers.
Technical school graduate, 36 years old, lather, married with three children, 2, 12 and 13 yrs old
A relative of mine was shot dead in Zawya El Hamra on the 28th of January. We had the funeral on the 29th and I was on my way home at 11 pm. I was walking through Ahmed Said street. A man stopped me and asked for my ID? Another held me from one side and another from the other side. One of them had a track in his hand and they were talking violently. Then they started beating me and said we shall give you over to the army. They took me to the army close to the aviation hospital. In the front yard of the hospital they pushed me to the ground and hit me on the head, both the men together with an officer in uniform. They handcuffed me behind my back and beat me with sticks and rifle butts. They carried us like animals and threw us in an army jeep and took us to the investigations, possibly Manshiet el Bakry. We had with us soldiers and sergeants dressed in plain clothes. All of them were beaten and insulted just like we were. As if we were in Israel. They threw us, about 120, in a cell. They threw dirty water on us and stood by the windows with electric tasers. I remained there until next day at noon time. They kept us squatting and videoed us. Then they took us in a car, about 30 of us, our hands tied behind our backs and took us to the military prison. There was this freezer car with 65 bodies which they disposed of in the desert. It was a freezer and the ferion leaked and they froze. In the military prison they received us with beatings. They beat with their hands, and belts and tasers and hoses and rifle buts and tree branches. We would take off our clothes and walk barefoot until we entered the prison compound. A huge yard. They ordered us to sit and continued to beat us. Anybody who would raise his head would be beaten. They searched us and took our money. We remained 4 days in the military prison. We were 400. we lost our money. We lost our health, but I cannot lose my children. Everyday nightmares and torture. Anybody touching me I startle. Injuries: broken ribs on the right side, scars on the head not attended medically.
Sudanese refugee, 22 years
I was imprisoned and they beat me on Sunday in Gesr El Suez. I was beaten with a belt by the army. They used me as a carpet on the floor. They released me two weeks later. They beat me once after entering the military prison. They burnt my hand with a lighter. Then a doctor saw me and treated my injury. I didn’t do anything. They said I was a thief but I didn’t do anything. I was going to take the metro to go home. They tied my hands behind my back. Then they put me in a car and took me to the big car. There were Egyptians and Sudanese with me. 6 people were arrested with me. There we found many other Egyptians, adults and children. They were beating elderly men and little children and then they would untie them. When do we leave? They say tomorrow. They took me in a car. There were people whom they whipped with a Sudanese whip and belt and feed them jam. At night there is nothing but beans. They held us in a room that has no light and the window is small and high. Brother: It was curfew. He does not have an ID (Victim is mentally disabled). The army arrested him and beat him with a belt and tied his hands and blindfolded him and his body has many signs of burning. He was not eating while in prison. When he was released he was devastated. He came alone at 3 am.
Graduate working with his father in a shop, Alexandria, 24 years
It was the anger Friday. He was among those who challenged security tanks in Ramla station and was injured in his hand. At 8 pm on Saturday the 29th of January he went to his father’s working place in a Skoda. He was accompanied by his neighbor to deliver a check at the public hospital for a blood transfusion for his mother suffering third degree cancer. As soon as left his car he was arrested by the army although he showed them the check for the blood bag. They took all his belongings, the check, his ID and driving license and 280 pounds which he had on him. “We were 104 people in one room. We were piled on top of each other. They threw water on us all the time. They beat us with sticks that had protrusions like long nails. The next day they took us out to a huge yard. (He was filmed on TV as a thug). He was tortured for 5 days by the army using electric shocks, whips and his back and legs were badly injured. They transported them in a container car.
A man, 40 years old, who was accompanying the previous person
In the container there were soldiers carrying machine guns. They were whipping us during out transfer, especially those who were not blindfolded. We had a 60 years old man with us who was suffering a renal colic. The officer came and told him, you are acting and he ordered the soldiers to beat him. They kept electrocuting him until he died. Then the officer said (literally): take this dog away from here. Then they took us to El Hadra prison. I was in the same ward with 97 people. At least 7 of them died. Our hands and feet were tied and we were all tortured. Soaking us with water, cigarette burns in our naked bodies, beating with sticks and whipping. A man from Libya was tied with us and he died. He was handcuffed to my hand and his body remained for hours, dead next to me. The most brutal was an officer by the name of Hassan. He was swearing at us all the time and was kicking even the dead. Tuesday they brought us ointments and food and told us we were ruled innocent but will not be discharged now or allowed to meet anybody. Thursday night we were all naked. They told us: leave before we beat you again. I grabbed a piece of clothes, shorts, put them on and ran outside. We did not know what was happening during those 13 days.
Architect, 41 years old, married and has three children, from Suez
I was in Tahrir square on Wednesday afternoon. I left the square to go to Nozha street to return to Suez. I took a taxi and as soon as the driver knew I was from Suez he looked upset and drove very fast and handed me over to the army check point nearby. They were in black uniform. He told them, this man is from Suez and he has come to destroy the country. The officer was armed. He pushed me in a police car which had people dressed in black inside. They beat me so brutally that I lost consciousness. When I regained consciousness found myself without my clothes (they stole them). I was very tired and they kept transferring me from one place to another while the beating continued with electrified batons all over my body. Again I fainted. People with me in the car told me they thought I was dead because I started snoring and foam was coming out of my mouth and said hide him so that nobody sees him. I woke up in the military intelligence center in front of Tiba Mall in Madinet Nasr. Somebody from the medical center of the air forces said we are in center 75 of the military intelligence. Another detainee carried me and I looked through the window and saw the back wall of the ministry of defense. We were interrogated twice and during the two times I was blindfolded and my hands were tied behind my back.. He asked me, is this the first time you are interrogated by SSI. I asked, are we in SSI? He said yes. He said you look like a member of the Brotherhood. I told him I am an artist and I paint and I cannot be a member of the Brotherhood. He interrogated me for more than an hour and then he said, you have wasted my time and got on my nerves. We shall take you to the detention center. Anybody who knew I was from Suez beat me brutally. They threatened to hand me over to central security who hate people from Suez. They told me, you have absolutely no record here. You are in a no return zone. After each interrogation he would remove my blindfolded a little and make me sign on a paper which I did not read. Saturday they took us to the military prison in the Heikstep. They put us in a freezer car, completely closed, with no air. Our eyes were blindfolded and our hands tied and we were thrown on top of each other. We were 52 people. I know because they called our names. Among us were thugs. In the military prison we saw brutal torture. They received us with something called the “twister”. They made us take off our clothes, except for the slip and told us to sleep face down. They walked over our backs and beat us with whips, electric batons and another type of sticks. They were dressed like Special Forces and the badge said Sa’aeqa. Somebody would whistle and they start the torture, and then whistle again and they would stop for a few minutes.
Male, journalist
On the 1st of February I was arrested in Alexandria at 9 p.m. I was documenting events in el Horeyya street and the burned police stations. They were arresting people and taking young people between 15 and 30 years of age putting them in the Alexandria directorate. I was taking pictures when suddenly more than one person, dressed in plainclothes. The area was dark and quiet. We were close to the graveyards. They took me to a place that looked like a school yard. They were joined by other people who pulled me from my shirt and were obscene in their language then started to slap me. I told them you have no right to do that and they said, you still haven’t seen anything. I have never seen so much terror as I have seen there. Brutal beating, people with their hands tied behind their backs and beaten. People were screaming. Torture is a mild description of what was happening there. Until then they had not done it to me but I felt terrified seeing the weapons and the batons in their hands. First they point them at their faces and then they would hit them with the rifle buts in their chests and stomachs. Then an officer came for me. I told him I am a journalist. I don’t belong to any group and I told him you have my papers. He left and spoke to his senior, an officer by the name of Esam. I was still watching the torture and then they came for me. They pulled me from the back of my shirt and said when you write tell people to chant for the army and the people. He hit me in my stomach with the but of his weapon, they tied me from the back, forced me on my knees and beat me and then forced me on the floor and walked over me. The beating was endless. Then they ordered us to stand up without help, but we were tied, so we stumbled. I tried to stand up but fell and bled from my mouth. Then they took me to state security and from there I was released. On the way to state security I discovered that they knew all the popular committees along the way. At SSI they untied my hand and tied them in front of me using my belt. They untied my legs. When they released me I could not walk. I was limping. People on the street took me to Nariman hospital. I submitted a complaint to the press office.
Male university student
We were in a search committee at 5 p.m. searching those joining the protest. A group came and tried to incite a fight. They said leave or else we’ll harm you. The soldiers and the army shot gunfire at about 7 p.m. in the air. I ran. An army officer came and hit me with the rifle but in my chest. They gathered around me and took me to the army. They took me to the SSI building and beat and slapped and kicked me. A young officer came and said, what is happening. I told him I was beaten by the army. He hit me with an electric baton and gave me over to a soldier. I entered through a gate guarded by people in uniform. They asked: why are you here? Then he let us through. They blindfolded me and kicked my in the back of my knee so that I fell. They continued beating me. I felt something heavy hit against my leg. I think it was his rifle again. He kicked me and walked over my back and hit me several times with his boots. I was not talking and was not screaming. They handcuffed me behind my back. I told them I have hemophilia (bleeding blood disease) They brought the electric teaser and electrocuted me in my swollen hands. We were sleeping face down with our legs apart. I felt something burn on my buttocks. Obscenities and terrible verbal abuse. A man came and said, stop beating and they would laugh and continue. This lasted for about two hours. My hands were hurting terribly. A soldier cut the wire that was binding my hands and told me move your hands. The officer saw him and said who untied him? They made me squat and would hit me on my heels and when I fell they hit me on the back. We stood facing the wall…. They put us in the army tank. 27 people thrown on top of each other. I felt my hands were falling off. We arrived at the military police. They asked, what has happened? We said the army has beaten us? They called for a solider who came with a pocket knife and said it is impossible they were the army. He helped me sit up and they treated us very decently. They distributed us over two rooms. The military prosecutor was very aggressive and insulting. He would say, happy with the revolution? Well that is what the revolution has brought you.
Law student, 25 years
Yesterday before the night prayer we found thugs with swords and stones. They were moving the iron barriers. I tried to escape to a side street, but found it blocked, so I returned and hid inside a building and climbed to the roof. We were about 15. we prayed and when we finished we found the army in front of us: soldiers and officers. They took us downstairs. They said we will search you and then you will leave. In front of the ministry of justice there was nobody else. They blindfolded us and took us inside the SSI building. While walking they were electrocuting us. I was also hit with the rifle bit in my stomach. When we arrived inside they told us to sleep face down. They pulled me along the floor and then somebody came from behind and strangulated me his arm. Then they took us inside. They hit us with clubs. Electrocuted us. Hit us with whips. They counted us. We were 15. then they stopped beating because the district leader was passing by. They put us in a tank. Our hands were tied behind our backs. Blindfolded. When we were inside the tank they removed the blindfold. They took the mobile, the shoes, two scarves, the Quran and medical glasses. When we went to the 10th of Ramadan the treatment improved. They gave us each two blankets and distributed us over two room. When I met with the prosecutor I showed him my card which said I was disabled. He told me it looks fake. Injuries: two stitches in the head, wound is infected and swollen. Bruises and swelling of buttocks.
Male, 38 years old (arrested from Lazughli)
The shooting began at 7 pm. We were faced by thugs from the front and the army from the back. We escaped in an entrance of a building and were arrested from there. We were tortured inside Lazughli. Handcuffed behind our backs with plastic and beaten by the army inside SSI headquarters. We were electrocuted by tasers. Beaten and kicked. They would step on our faces and humiliate us. We were then taken while handcuffed into one of the tanks, with enough space for only 6 or 7 people. We were interrogated in the morning. The treatment was much better there. Injuries: Widespread bruises in different parts of the body.
Males, 27 years old, construction worker
The Tahrir protest was peaceful from the 25th of January to the 13th of February. After Mubarak stepped down I rested for two days and returned on the Friday of Victory. Of course the rest of our demands were not met. We were against Shafik and the rest was not implemented yet. On the 25th of February the army attacked us at 2 am. About 300 people holding sticks and tasers beat us without any reason until 4 a.m. We were about 350 people in Tahrir. We were beaten and so were the girls. I was taking pictures because (—-) is a writer and we were recording. I called her at 2.30. She was injured. They held us inside the Development bank. We were all injured and they continued to beat us despite our injuries. Then came an ambulance. Some took it and were not brought back. We spent the night in front of the Nasserite party. In the morning we returned to the square and the protest continued until Tuesday. Then the thugs came, about 100 of them. They had Molotov and empty bottles and iron bars and sticks. They came from Kasr El Aini street. WE ran after them until we forced them to leave. We felt something will happen. We raised banners saying “despite SSI I am a Muslim and love my Coptic brother”. We spent about two hours in Maspero. Then we heard that there is violence in the square. We returned taking the route of the museum. People were pointing at us saying to the army here are the thugs. We were journalists and engineers and university graduates. WE went to the square. After 10 minutes we saw two people standing on the roof of a building pointing at us and other people. Then they started throwing stones. About 300 or 400 people, dressed in black jeans and shirts. We ran after them. One of us got injured. I carried him to the museum. The army was blocking the way and standing with them were thugs. They grabbed the young man I was carrying, about 16 years old and beat him brutally. Then they grabbed me and beat me in the face and back. They kicked me and then took me to the museum. Two soldiers handed me over to the two other solders and they continued beating me. Until now the beating was mostly with their hands. They took my money, my mobile, and a bag with a camera. In the museum they took me through a gate and I found an army officer carrying a weapon. They told me face down —– . “you were chanting against Mubarak? Mubarak us your president you —–.  They handcuffed me behind my back with an electric wire. I was screaming. I felt I will lose my hand. He kept hitting me with his boots on my back and head and neck. They took about 15 or 20 of us and took us to another place. They made us lie face down as well and people would come and walk over our backs and kick us with their boots. I saw an old man die in front of my eyes. His tongue protruded and he was saying: Have mercy. I am sick. They would not listen and continued to beat him. We heard somebody say: he died. I heard somebody say: throw him away. They continued beating us for 4 hours with electric sticks, they electrocuted me in sensitive areas and burned me with a heated wire, still marking my back. People were screaming and moaning around us and then they ordered us to stand up. My hands were hurting terrible. We held to each other to be able to stand. We would bite into each others clothes to give us support. Standing up was difficult. They removed the blindfold. We could see a little despite the blindfold. Suddenly we found none of the torturers around us. Only military police. They made us stand in two lines and took pictures of us to look like thugs. Then they took us still blindfolded to busses and they drove to S 28 in Madinet Nasr. Arriving here they lined us up and brought a long table with about 15 huge new knives on it and Molotov bottles. There were army people and military police. They said: you want the president to leave. Well, the president will stay. You think you have made a revolution. I’ll show you what you have been doing so that people know you are thugs….
Male, technician, arrested from Lazoughly
When they started shooting I went to hide in a building. There was a woman with me and two children. We hid on the roof of the building for an hour. Then the army came with flash lights. The children were crying. When we went down an officer told me I know you, you want to be a leader. He pulled my t-shirt and covered my face and handed me over to the soldiers. After we crossed the wire separating the demonstrators from the building they dragged me for 150 meters towards the building. 3 or 4 surrounded me. They would beat me with sticks or their rifle buts or belts and I felt electric shocks. They handcuffed me and I felt I was walking over bodies. They pushed me to the ground and made me lie face down. For an hour and a half. They walked all over our backs and the soldiers hit with the belts and with electric wires. The screaming was terrible. I felt I will dies. I pretended to be dead. They beat me on the head and I kept silent while they were beating. They threw water on my face and removed the t-shirt off my face. One of them told me we shall do more to you. They pulled my trousers down. I screamed, don’t do that. Beat me as much as you want, but do not do that. They said: we shall break you. They did what they did with the barrel of a rifle and a stick several times. This happened to four others. They finished and tightened the handcuffing. They pushed us into the tank, one on top of the other. There was lots of screaming and SOS. They beat more brutally. They took my money and my jacket. We arrived almost dead at the 10th of Ramadan. Examination: Cut wound with 5 stitches in the head, dark bruises on the back, buttocks and legs.
Same testimony by six other males a 38 years old primary school teacher, a 26 years old small factory owner, three students 23, 25 and 38 years old  and a computer programmer, 49 years old. Both arrested from Lazoughli, tortured in Lazughli and then taken to military prosecution S 28 in Madinet Nasr.
Male, 19 years old, was living abroad and returned a month ago
Wednesday, about noon time after the German foreign minister left, I found stones being thrown at us in the tents. I looked for a friend of mine to ask him to take pictures. Didn’t find him. So I took the camera and took some shots and then returned to tent. I found my friend and then they attacked us, the army attacked us. I rant towards the entrance of Talaat Harb street. I was arrested by 4 people in plain clothes who took me to the museum. I remained there for 4 hours, until 8.30. They threw us on top of each other while we were handcuffed and blindfolded. Anybody making a sound would be beaten> they were stepping over our bodies. I was beaten on my head, neck and back. Behind the museum there was military police and army, soldiers and officers as well as the 777 brigade, the special forces dressed in dark green. An officer who knows me let me go.
Male, 25 years
Wednesday the day they emptied the square I was in my tent in the central garden. Since 1 p.m. there were thugs who came and attacked us. I was sleeping inside the tent and then I heard a sound and then I found the army inside the tent. They beat me while I was still lying down. When I went out of the tent there were 6 people waiting for me in army uniform. They beat me brutally and I heard somebody say: leave this one. I tried to help a friend but somebody hit me on the head and I lost consciousness. About 6 p.m. (Swelling of the forehead and injury to Tendo Achillis).
Female social worker, single, 29 years old, arrested Wednesday 9 March
I was in Tahrir since the 25th of January. On the 9th of March I was doing some errands to pay the university fees. When I returned to Tahrir at 12 noon there was a counter demonstration: the people want to empty the square. They were shooting in the air. I felt terrified. Some of my friends were taken by the army and were not returned. We suggested that a group of us girls go and look for the boys in the museum. We were 5 at first and then we became more. We were chanting: the people and the army together. They opened the main gate of the museum for us and an officer said: come in. I was beaten and pushed. They told me come in you —- and they used very obscene words. When I went inside I found a young woman crying. She said they electrocuted me and her mobile was taken and broken. She was in a nervous breakdown. They tied my hands behind my back. It was loose and they had to tighten it again and again. Then 8 girls came among them journalists and university students and one of them was a university graduate. Obscene words, prostitutes, that is what they called us. The girls collapsed and began to cry. I started to collapse around sun set. Every while or so an officer would come and tell me I shall squash you. They let the journalists and the university graduates leave. At night the real problems began. I started to argue with them. I told them I want to go home. They took us in a bus and took pictures of us. I was very, very brutally beaten in the bus. They focused on me because I answered back. I spat in their faces. I was pulled like an animal from the bus. I was kicked in front of the general. I would faint, they would throw water on my face and then continue beating. We arrived at Madinet Nasr. I was screaming. We spent the night in the bus. The prison guard stripped us and was beating us with hoses. She said “girls will be examined”, women won’t. I was examined for my virginity by a man wearing a white coat and a female prison guard. The prosecution came to prison. I was interrogated by the prosecution Friday evening at 10 p.m.
Male, 26 yrs old, arrested 9thof March from Tahrir
On Wednesday a friend of ours was taken to the museum. We did not know why they took him. He is a very peaceful person and was always trying to stay out of trouble. That day the situation was quite violent and there were thugs in the square throwing stones. I went with a friend and a journalist to look for him. We didn’t understand what was going on. I was in charge of the square security and the army knew me. We approached the museum and chanted the people and the army are one. Suddenly they took the girls to one side and dragged me to the opposite direction, beating me all the way from the huge gate to the smaller internal gate. Inside I found bodies all over the floor. More than 100 people. I have never seen anything like this. I was beaten with every possible thing, clubs, stick, whip, hose, an electric wire. I was totally ruined that day. They blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back. They were beating us with anger and hatred. They said we were ruining the country, we’ve been on the streets for 40 days, we didn’t have a day’s holiday. They were very obscene. The officer would tell the soldiers mind you we are permitted 50% losses. If somebody dies he can go to hell. They were inciting soldiers against us. They forced us face down on the floor and said we were carrying Molotov and weapons. WE didn’t have anything. We are all educated. And if I did have anything I would not have taken it with me. At night they took us in busses. We were about 173 men and about 30 girls. We went to a place called the army compound. They took pictures of us there and then they took us to a desert and kept us in the busses. We slept in the busses. Next morning they took us to the military prison. I had cancer lung and had an operation when I was 14 and have removed two of my ribs. I was not taken into the prison because when the doctor saw the scar of the operation, he said: not this one. I was about to leave but then I had an argument with an officer so he kept me in the bus. From Wednesday to Friday no food, no water, no bathroom. I left on Friday afternoon. I used to admire the army very much. Now I hate the uniform. They dropped me on the ring road. The prison is in the Heikstep. I was wearing slippers and then lost them. They tied me with my jacket. They broke my phone. I was only in my shorts. They would mock me: do you think you are on the beach. They pushed us on tope of each other as if we were “things”. Somebody was dying. He was saying his prayers. I shall never forget his face. They filmed us for the media and portrayed us as thugs, as bad people. My brother martyred on the 28th of January, my half brother. He was 12 years old and was shot in the chest and I was shot in my leg.
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Down With Military Rule