8 March 2011
An Egyptian human rights worker takes a walk inside the abandoned State Security Investigations headquarters.
I used to love entering abandoned buildings as a kid, for the adventure and the thrill of finding belongings left behind, clues to the untold stories silenced by the walls. Yesterday I entered an abandoned building that contains a million stories, all of them of deceit, pain and power.
The Nasr City State Security Investigations (SSI) headquarters is a peculiar fortress-like building combining drab box like buildings with the sensuous curves of gun turrets and the circular building at its centre. A friend of mine who was kidnapped and detained there in 2009 says that while blindfolded he was repeatedly forced to walk round on a circular path. Maybe that was one of its uses. Exercise.
Protestors, watched by the army, entered the building around 6.30 p.m. The protest had begun at 4 p.m. A relatively large number of the protestors were men with beards and therefore fitted the profile of Nasr City State Security’s main clientele; individuals identified as “Islamist” and therefore legitimate targets by security officers. Emergency law powers allow state security officers to operate with virtual impunity, and the results of this policy entered the building yesterday, furious and defiant.
15 February 2011
Communications and online platforms have played very important role during the Egyptian Revolution between all entities and individuals.The invitation to demonstration started online through Facebook events and Twitter using the hash-tag #Jan25, to demonstrate during the National Police Day 25 January 2011 mainly against corruption, unemployment and torture in Egypt. The invitation spread very widely among the Egyptian netizens and many political groups and parities adopted the invitation and it was spread offline.Before January 25, the reasons for the demonstrations started to increase and develop quickly until it all was formulated under one umbrella: People Demand Removal of the Regime.Invitations to the demonstrations with time and locations spread widely using short message service (SMS) and emails. An online platform was also developed to compile chants by Egyptians to make it easier for people joining peaceful assemblies to use the slogans in different ways.The Front to Defend Egypt Protesters (FDEP), network of more than 30 human rights organization and legal in Egypt to provide informative and legal aid to participants in peaceful...
5 February 2011
As Egyptian citizens and human rights defenders, we have been on the streets here, including in Tahrir Square, since Jan. 25 to demand dignity and freedom for all Egyptians. There is nothing we want more than an immediate end to the Mubarak era, which has been marred by repression, abuse and injustice. We are heartened by the international community's shift from demanding "restraint" and "responsiveness" to echoing our call for Hosni Mubarak to step down and for an immediate transition toward democracy.
But for a real transition to democracy to begin, Mubarak must not resign until he has signed decrees that, under Egypt's constitution, only a president can issue. This is not simply a legal technicality; it is, as Nathan Brown recently blogged for ForeignPolicy.com, the only way out of our nation's political crisis.
Egypt's constitution stipulates that if the president resigns or his office becomes permanently "vacant," he must be replaced by the speaker of parliament or, in the absence of parliament, the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court. In the event of the president's temporary inability to exercise his prerogatives, the vice president is to take over as the interim head of state. In both cases a new president must be elected within 60 days. Significantly, the constitution prohibits the interim...
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