- November 21, 2007
Egyptian Bloggers Reject Torture in Own Film Festival
Most bloggers are currently talking about and condemning torture, to the extent of establishing a film festival to defame this phenomenon. “Nothing is worse than endangering your life at the hands of others. It is life my dear”, said a blogger. Many political-activists-turned bloggers have resorted to this web based method to fight the currently systematic method torture adopted by the Egyptian security services.
Most abuses facing Egyptian citizens, including repeated tortures, take place in Egyptian police stations and have been caught in mobile camera phones. Some officers even took such footages themselves.
A psychologist said that these officers (who commit such abuses) are actually suffering from psychological disorders. How have they been allowed to work in an apparatu tasked with keeping security in Egypt?. Is true that the syllabus in the Egyptian Police Academy is teaching officers how to commit such violations, according to Egyptian human rights activists.
Some Egyptian bloggers are ironically planning to compete with the state run Cairo Film Festival- scheduled to be held next December, through holding another mock film festival about the torturing footages posted on the cyberspace.
The Internet festival will show footages of tortures committed by Egyptian security services.
Egyptian bloggers are expected also to give a mock award “The Golden Whip” for the ugliest abuse committed by security services against people.
It is worth that many reports issued by local and international Human Rights Organizations show that torture is mushrooming in Egyptian prisons and in police stations in a systematic manner.
Weeks ago, Egyptian bloggers have established along with some political activists a human rights group called “Egyptians against Torture”, to defame and expose the tortures committed against Egyptian citizens in order to spread them among the news media, human rights organizations and civil society institutions.
In Egypt, blogger Abdul Karim Solaiman is currently serving four years prison term for his eight articles that he posted in 2004, in which he strongly criticized president Mubarak, and showed contempt to Islam. Solaiman has recently been tortured and was kept in solitary confinement and he is given insufficient food.
Last Nov, 5th, a Cairo court sentenced two Egyptian policemen for three years on charge of torturing a a bus driver a year ago in a case that shocked the public opinion in Egypt and opened the file of torture in Egyptian police stations, mainly due to efforts of the web activists.
Officers Islam Nabih and Reda Fathi were arrested last December after a wide-scale podcast on Egyptian weblogs of a footage showing them sodomizing bus driver Emad El Kabir using a stick.
Emad El Kabir accused both the officer and the policeman of torturing and beating him in Boulaq Al-Dakrour police station because he intervened in a dispute between the police officials and his cousin.
The footage showed the victim in the case, Emad El Kabir, with his lower part fully naked, handcuffed from behind and his legs tied to the ceiling crying and asking torturers to stop sodomizing him using a stick, while they were continuing to humiliate him through this beastly method.
Although this incident wan”t the first ever to be carried out in police station, but it was a pivotal incident because it was made public and was documented on mobile cameras and posted on the internet and due to the huge public and media interest in it.
This incident shed also more light on torture cases, giving a momentum to human rights activists in Egypt to fight the tortures committed by policemen.
In a related context, Reporters Without Borders listed added Egypt in the 31 state list of “enemies of the Internet enemies”, due to restrictions that the state is imposing on the Internet to prevent people from exposing corruption