Update from Egypt
I am reproducing in full the text of an e-mail I received this morning from a former student of mine with her eye-witness account of recent events in Tahrir and Egypt:
I hope you are all safe and doing well. I am writing to you to tell you about the situation in Egypt at the moment, as I am not sure about the accuracy of the media. Last Friday there was a huge demonstration in Tahrir Square calling for ending the military rule, to end military trials for civilians (more than 12,000 civilians have been referred to military tribunals) and to object to the supra constitutional principles. There was a huge numbers from different communities that attended the demonstration and most of them left the Square by evening.
Separate from that, the injured of the revolution have established a sit-in for months in different areas including Tahrir Square calling for the state to cover their treatment expenses and give them compensations. On Saturday, 19 November, security forced dispersed the injured using violence which provoked people to go back to Tahrir again to support them (like what happened on 28/29 June). Many have claimed that this is the Islamists revolting to gain power, which is completely false, what is going on at the moment is the Egyptian people are revolting against police brutality and military rule.
Security forces are using different kinds of tear gases excessively, rubber bullets, birdshot and live ammunition against protesters up till now and they are getting more violent with each passing day causing the death of 30 persons and leaving more than 1700 of injured (official records from the Ministry of Health), including many who were targeted in their eyes and the upper part of their bodies. People are being arrested arbitrarily and violently, including volunteers field doctors who are helping the injured and journalists covering the events. Field hospitals are being attacked on purpose to disable doctors from helping the injured.
As always, since the start of the revolution in January, women are taking up the streets in different roles. Some are taking the frontline in the protests, others are helping out the injured by providing emergency medical aid, and female doctors are helping in the field hospitals that are being targeted by tear gas. I have witnessed women brought out of the frontline losing conscience due to tear gas, and we have followed cases of women who got detained by security forces and we are in the process of documenting the circumstances in which they were arrested and the violence that was used against them, if there was any. Women played, and are still playing, their role for Egypt’s freedom and in the fight against militarism.
As the violence continues today for the 5th day from the security forces against unarmed protesters, more people are taking up the streets in support of the ones already on the ground in more than 5 cities. The one thing that would harm us the most is to portray the situation and simplify it to a fight over power between Islamists groups and the army – especially that the Muslim Brotherhood declared that they are not taking part in these demonstrations – or that the people in the streets are thugs and are seeking the destruction of the country to cause chaos. We are all in the streets fighting against police brutality and militarism.
Support us by spreading the truth about the situation and correcting the misinformation spreading since Mubarak stepped out.
Here are some videos showing the on-going violations by joint forces from the military and ministry of interior:
Statements by human rights groups:
– Human Rights Watch, 22 Nov: http://goo.gl/zq5nR [En]
– Joint Statement by Egyptian Groups: http://goo.gl/UzEqC [En]
What we are demanding is accountability.