“There was much more to this unique Tahrir square phenomenon than just bread and butter, … there were popular demands to restore a lost dignity.”
There are a few academic definitions of “Revolution”… but they all come down to one sentence “Dramatic change in a relatively short period of time”
It could take some time to change the political system of a country; it could take some time to draft a new constitution, elect a new parliament, even a new president … but it will definitely take so many years to get rid of the culture of fear when you have been living for so long in a police state.
It is understandable that criminals usually need rehabilitation, but what is not conceivable is when you find a situation where police officers need to be rehabilitated and retrained to properly serve and protect the people according to a code of ethics that is universally agreed upon.
Torture, was the only department the regimes of the Arab dictators excelled at. When Mr. Bush, the White House criminal launched his stupid crusade, better known as the war on terror, he used to send abducted suspects of the so called al-Qaeda over to Morocco, Egypt and Jordan for innovative techniques of questioning that made waterboarding looked benign.
The Egyptians revolted not against Mubarak per se, rather they protested against living in a police state that acted, not according to the order of law, but under the emergency law, where every suspect is guilty until proven otherwise. And in the mean time he is most likely to be humiliated like never before in his life and stripped of his dignity and pride. And if he was to get out of his imprisonment again, he will likely to walk out as a human wreck.
Of course there were social and economic grievances behind the Egyptian revolution, but there was much more to this unique Tahrir square phenomenon than just bread and butter, … there were popular demands to restore a lost dignity.
The honeymoon between the Egyptian military and the protesters did not last long. Tahrir Square, which had been the scene of jubilant celebrations, soon turned into a battlefield, as the army moved to violently disperse activists, beating them with clubs and electric rods – even firing live ammunition – leading to many casualties.
Hundreds were dragged away to trucks and thrown in prison. Between January 28 and August 29, almost 12,000 civilians were tried in military tribunals, far more than Mubarak managed in 30 years of dictatorship. Torture by police and military personnel remains widespread with hundreds of cases involving beatings, electrocution, and sexual assault reported.
A video was released lately revealing army and police officers torturing citizens in Kurdi police station in the governorate of Dakahlia (lying north east of Cairo)
The video showed three half naked citizens bound and blindfolded and the officers stepping on them with their shoes. The video then shows an officer form the Special Forces electrocuted the citizens behind on their ears with taser guns, making them scream while they were being interrogated.
The video showed some familiar officers who appeared during the Egyptian January 25 Revolution, from the army, police and the Special Forces.
It is worth mentioning that the two suspects, being tortured in the video, were caught red handed robbing and looting … but I don’t think this fact could make this whole mockery of human rights and legal procedures less reprehensible.
The Egyptian police/military forces might as well have saved themselves the trouble and bombarded the two men at the crime scene by some drone attacks, as Obama did with this Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
But then again, the Awlaki case is no comparison to this Egyptian police misconduct, I mean the suspects were at least brought in for questioning. We have to give the Egyptian police credit for that.
For more articles by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat visit his website.
[youtube z4I6XIHEH1w&list=PL281B5DA2E64E6E4D&index=9 Released video of new torture techniques by the military & police in post-Mubarak Egypt.]
Ashraf Ezzat is an Egyptian born in Cairo and based in Alexandria. He graduated from the faculty of Medicine at Alexandria University.
Keen not to be entirely consumed by the medical profession, Dr. Ezzat invests a lot of his time in research and writing. History of the ancient Near East and of Ancient Egypt has long been an area of special interest to him.
In his writings, he approaches ancient history not as some tales from the remote times but as a causative factor in our existing life; and to him, it’s as relevant and vibrant as the current moment.
In his research and writings, Dr. Ezzat is always on a quest trying to find out why the ancient wisdom had been obstructed and ancient spirituality diminished whereas the Judeo-Christian teachings and faith took hold and prospered.
Dr. Ezzat has written extensively in Arabic tackling many issues and topics in the field of Egyptology and comparative religion. He is the author of Egypt knew no Pharaohs nor Israelites.
In 2013 his short The Pyramids: story of creation was screened at many international film festivals in Europe. And he is working now on his first documentary “Egypt knew no Pharaohs nor Israelites”.