If you were told that the Egyptian Government respects human rights, then let us introduce you to Khaled Said. Khaled is a 28 years old Egyptian and his story began in early June, when he went to his usual cyber café in the Cleopatra area of Alexandria, where he used to live.
According to eye witnesses, two civil clothed policemen entered the cyber café, arrested him and started beating him. They first hit his head on a marble bench in the café. They then dragged him to the building next door. Khaled was kicked all over his body, held from his neck and head and had his head smashed on the marble stairs at the entrance of the building. According to eye witnesses, they kept beating Khaled until he died.
Khaled’s body was then taken away in a police car and 15 minutes later they returned, dumped his body at the scene of the attack and called the medics. Now an investigation is taking place. Police claim that Khaled swallowed a packet of drugs and choked. Images of Khaled’s dead body, witnesses, his family, and the history of Egyptian police brutality say the story we just told above.
The images of Khaled’s smashed face, led to a growing anti-torture movement in Egypt. Young activists have been holding protests in Cairo and Alexandria. On 25 June, young activists across the country took to the street and stood in silence protesting against Khaled’s murder, torture, and police brutality. The next planned protest is Friday 9 July. This case shed the light on torture by the police and the institutional corruption in Egypt, whether it is the government forensic experts that released a non ethical report or the police who has been brutally torturing Egyptians for many decades.
Torture and police brutality in Egypt is systematic. Khaled is not and won't be the only case. Many Egyptians have faced a similar fate at the hands of policemen in Egypt. Images and footage on the internet show how brutal the Egyptian police can be.It is time to say No to Torture. It is time to support all those young Egyptians in their struggle to eradicate torture and police brutality in Egypt. Let us unite together to put an end to torture in Egypt. Let us unite our voices to end Impunity and demand accountability. Let us amplify the voices of Egyptians and let it be heard all over the world.
Fouad GM is a social scientist, and researcher in Middle Eastern affairs. His writings have appeared on several websites, blogs, newspapers and publications by think tanks and research centres. Follow him on Twitter