I wanted to blog about some personal incidents and events…I even woke up and fell asleep forming the draft but never actually writing anything…local news, however, sprang out suddenly and I just felt it necessary to have a say, to make a comment – or even to scream.
Last Tuesday I was checking omraneya.net when I found the title clear and bright, 'Islam Nabih sentenced for three years in jail.' And it felt like a million pounds! I haven't blogged about Emad El Kebir before, or how he was arrested for no apparent reason than trying to defend his brother who was being harassed by the police. And what was the Captain Islam Nabih's reaction? He stripped him from the waist down and together with a Corporal they beat him up and sodomised him with a stick! And to spite him even more, they videotaped him. A total fuck. Bloggers, human rights activists and even unheeding Egyptians knew about the case Emad filed against the policemen , and everyone was holding his breath until the verdict came in. Immediately afterwords, I waited for Al3ashera Masa2an…and the show hosted the lawyer of the defendant and the accused, and later Emad himself. Significantly, however, an anonymous policeman called in and among moments of silence, stuttering and a disheartened voice, he wondered how on earth they were supposed to treat such thugs? And insisted that they face hell to restore order to the streets, and that no one is cooperative, and that they feel hated and even inferior!
Okay, respected policeman – what the heck do you expect us to feel about policemen when most of what we see from them is either cruelty or indifference? Thousands of our friends, family and beloved ones are run over every day by high-speed vehicles. 22 people died of torture in the past year – torture you have committed, respected policemen of this country. Girls are molested every half an hour in the streets of Cairo or so they say in broad daylight and do not find one single policeman to run to. Not one. It's now a myth that Egypt's streets are safe…those who are supposed to provide us with safety are simply NOT THERE. Women's bags are being robbed and the women dragged along by cars, helplessly trying to regain the few pounds left to feed the children, and what the hell are you doing? Sodomising innocent people. This is your policy, your religion.
The following episode of Al3ashera Masa2an began with a call from a high-ranking police officer, professional liar and nutcase. He insisted on the good examples of policemen that are never given as much attention as the few corrupt among them. But I was amazed at how he commented on the killing of a girl in El Matareya area while trying to stop the police car from taking away one of her relatives. She tried to block the road, but the car just went on, hitting her, then running her over. 'What were they supposed to do? She was the one who hung on to the car!' i.e. The bitch got in our way. The bitch had to die. This is their logic. There is no talk of pushing her away or even pepper-spraying her (which in another context could also be considered an excessive use of force), but they just killed her…Simply.
The sentence the infamous policemen got is a beam of hope, as considered by many, including myself. However, this trial is a double-edged weapon. It is an attempt to silence humanitarian voices that are accusing the government of ignoring incidents of torture. It's like the Ministry of Interior is telling us, 'See? We've sentenced a policeman to prison and hard labour. Shut the fuck up now.' It is intended to grab our attention away from all of the 22 murders and God-knows-how-many torture cases that are being examined or forgotten in Egypt. Last Tuesday, I was hopeful, but deep down I was terrified, deep in my heart I hoped so dearly to God that other tortures don't go undercover, for there is no worse feeling in this world than injustice.
As Salama Ahmad Salama says in this week's edition of Al Ahram Weekly, we Egyptians are so used to catastrophes that nothing can shake us anymore, to the extent that tens of our young, ambitious and frustrated youth drowned while trying to cross over to Italy and not many care, not a lot of us noticed. What's done is done, nothing can be said more than what's been said before about illegal immigration, their hopes and dreams together with their blessed souls and any spark of light in their families' life was just washed away – finished. Done.