Friday,21 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1134, 7 - 13 February 2013
Friday,21 September, 2018
Issue 1134, 7 - 13 February 2013

Ahram Weekly

Social media

Police stripped

Police brutality against the protesters last Friday dominated the debates among Egyptians on social networks. The discussion started when the Al-Hayat private channel aired a video showing the Central Security Forces (CSF) beating a man who had been stripped naked, close to protests that were being staged near the presidential palace in Heliopolis.
Hamada Saber has since become the most famous and most controversial citizen in Egypt, earning international fame after he was filmed in the most humiliating moments of his life while he was being beaten inhumanly by CSF conscripts and dragged on the cold streets. That clip has been shown all over the globe worldwide.
Ayat Mahmoud said on her Facebook account, “two years ago, we went to the street to protest against this kind of practice. Doesn’t anybody in this government have integrity or even morals? Shame on the Muslim Brotherhood [MB].”
Mahmoud added that the video would be as significant as that of Khaled Said who was killed in an act of police brutality and whose death helped spark the 2011 revolution.
“It is simple — nobody has changed; same regime, same minister of interior, same policies, only names,” Mohamed Ayad said.
Ayad said that he preferred the Mubarak regime to that of Morsi, as during Mubarak there were violations but there was also security and stability, but now the only thing that we get from the police are violations.
Sara Metwalli argued that the police are working under huge pressure and the one responsible for the violations is the president who put the police forces on the front line to defend his autocratic policies.
“Can we take out the police from the game, and focus on the president and the Muslim Brotherhood as they are really eager to shift the blame from them to anybody else,” she said.

‘This is my square and this is my country’

In her blog, Egyptian chronicles, Zanobia criticised the government’s silence on the sexual assaults on female protesters in Tahrir Square last week, saying that what happened will not prevent Egyptian women from participating in protests against the repression. Here is what she wrote:

As if we are on a date with all the horrifying videos, in the past week another video was shown by Op Anti-Sexual Harassment documenting on camera a group rape in Tahrir Square on the night of 25 January. Several sexual assaults were recorded on that night. Sadly that day there was more sexual harassment unlike any other time.

It is not the first time something like this happens and unfortunately and realistically speaking, it is not going to be the last time. 

Personally I will not lie that I began to become worried about going to Tahrir Square alone especially after 4pm and specifically to that area, the hell zone between Tahrir Square and Mohamed Mahmoud Street near Hardee’s.

For the record, over the last two years, there were efforts to fight sexual harassment made by feminist movements and civil independent initiatives, which included Harassment Map, Tahrir Body Guards and the Op Anti-Sexual Harassment.

The police do not care or want to help at all. Already I do not have doubt that policemen do not respect the protesters, men or women.

Now, unfortunately the Islamists are using the incidents not to combat what happened as a social disease that defames Egypt and its men but rather are using it to defame the anti-MB anti-Morsi protesters in the same way the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and pro-Mubarak/Shafik/Omar Sueliman used it to scare people from Tahrir.

Most Islamists attacked the famous blue bra girl of 2011 but said nothing about the man who was stripped in front of the presidential palace and beaten by police.

The so-called Islamists and MB way to combat sexual harassment is to segregate women from men and to keep women at home. These so-called Islamists now are wondering why the media is focusing on the incident of stripping Hamada Saber and ignoring this video even though it was aired by non-Islamists from human rights activists and initiatives. Millions of Egyptian viewers witnessed that horrifying video in Tahrir for the first time last night in Al-Nahar Channel, the “non-Islamist channel”, on Mahmoud Saad’s show.

Last week two brave girls, Yasmine Al-Barmawi and Hania Muhib, spoke in front of the camera on how they were sexually harassed and attacked in Tahrir Square. Manal Omar, the famous psychiatrist, believes that these sexual assaults and gang rapes are intended for Tahrir Square to defame it and scare women from coming to the square that has became a world symbol for protesting.

Although sexual harassment is an epidemic in Egypt, I agree with Omar. Since 2005 sexual harassment has been used as a weapon to scare women protesters in Egypt. I do not understand why on earth the harassers appear specifically on mass protests days in Tahrir starting from the afternoon and disappear the next day. 

I will say the same thing that is on the video: “I will not give up. This is my square, and this is my country.”


“After the president blamed the opposition for the violence, is this a step to arrest the members of the National Salvation Front?” @Wael Abbas

“Ahmadinejad is visiting Egypt today; dictators meet!” @ Gigi Ibrahim
“So our minister of finance is a plagiariser; what a shame.”@Nagla Rizk

“Two years ago, I reported on the death of Khaled Said. Today, I covered a similar, brutal death under Morsi.” @Reem Abdellatif
“Let the world know that Egypt after revolution is preventing a child from his chemotherapy because he is a protester.” @ Asmaa Aly

“I guess the question is why there is zero political will to address the festering issue of sexual harassment.” @Rawya Rageh

“Egypt spends more money on its police force than on healthcare and education combined.” @Mona altahawy
“Morsi has got to the point Mubarak reached after 30 years in just six months.”@Sultan AlQassemi

“Egypt has emerged as a counter-example of what happens when you mistake the trappings of democracy for democracy itself.” @Iyad Elbaghdadi

“One year ago, we thought that MB controls all cities outside Cairo. Today, we saw that the most heated anti-MB protests were outside Cairo.” @The Big Pharaoh

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