Help me document xenophobic attacks during the revolution

Hello. Am abusing the blog for work-related purposes. Please pass on this note to friends and family who were in Egypt during the revolution and might have been the target of the harassment and attacks I describe below

I am investigating incidents of harassment against, and attacks on, foreigners (and Egyptians suspected of being foreigners) that began in earnest on Feb. 3rd 2011, the 2nd week of the revolution.

I am documenting these attacks as part of the investigation being carried out by NGO the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) into violations that took place during the revolution.

These attacks coincided with allegations broadcast by state media (and repeated by vice-president Omar Suleiman) that Tahrir Square protestors were either foreign agents from Iran and Western countries, or Egyptians in the pay of foreign powers.

While foreign journalists seem to have been the primary target of attacks, reports began circulating almost immediately of apparently random attacks by members of the public on people in the street who accosted individuals and accused them of being spies.

Similar experiences were reported by people detained by members of “public defence committees” established following the disappearance of the police from the streets in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt. In some of these cases army intervention was necessary to rescue people detained from gangs of 10 – 20 men armed with knives, sticks and even guns.

I am attempting to collect as many accounts of these incidents as possible. If you suffered such an experience (or experiences) I would very much like to hear from you.

We can either meet in person or, if you prefer, you can provide a written account in which case please note:

–       when and what time the incident happened (approximately if you can’t remember exactly when)

–       where it happened

–       who harassed or attacked you (did they identify themselves? Were they uniformed? Did they coordinate with anyone on mobile phones while you were detained? Were they armed?)

–       what was the reason given for your being apprehended/attacked

–       what role did the army play in the incident, if any

–       If you suffered any physical injury please describe it

–       any other detail you can include

I am interested in hearing about incidents that took place anywhere in Egypt, not just Cairo.

Please circulate this note widely to your friends and family.

I can be reached at

Thanks very much in advance for your help.

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9 Responses to Help me document xenophobic attacks during the revolution

  1. I’ve passed on your blog url to a French/Egyptian friend and her Australian husband who were nearly killed near Kasr el Aini the same day that Sandmonkey was abducted. His account of what happened sounded very similar to her experience, except that the mob in her case simply wanted to murder them.

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  3. Nellie H. Lee says:

    Dearest Sarah, your request for information is hardly blog abuse. This is the best documented bloody revolution in bloody history. More power to you. I don’t have info re abuse for you; consider this a mere fan’s note, congratulating you and your colleagues and fellow countrymen. Most sincerely, Nellie Harrington Lee

  4. Dominique says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Your site was brought to my attention by a friend in Cairo.
    It is good that abuse incidents in Egypt during the protests are being documented especially since all Egyptians citizens are (still) fighting to build a more open political culture and and to get respectful treatment from their government .
    I was in Cairo during the protests and arrested on the street by locals while in company of a Scottish woman friend and an Egyptian friend .
    This took place on Thursday February 3rd the same day assaults took place against journalists and foreigners .We were turned in to the army and, although unharmed in the end, it was a frightening experience.
    I wrote up the whole story while still in Egypt but only posted it after I was back home safe in The Netherlands. Read “The arrest” on my site
    This answers your questions about our incident.
    Contact me for more details if needed. Good luck with your project .
    Dominique a.k.a LadyBellyD

  5. Help me document xenophobic attacks during the revolution | Inanities

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