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) www.EIPR.org 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks very much in advance for your help.