Egypt: My Name was Khaled and I was not a Terrorist

Date posted: June 15, 2010


 

Photo by Mourid Barghouti

 

Demonstrations and rage continued in Egypt following the death of a young Egyptian, allegedly at the hands of police. The anger on the street is evident online, where citizen journalists speak out.

My Name was Khaled and I was not a Terrorist is the name of a new Facebook page condemning police torture and the use of the Emergency Law to terrorize citizens. “The emergency law is a tool in the hands of the executive power to storm many basic rights and freedom guaranteed by the Egyptian Constitution,” explains the International Federation for Human Rights. Khaled Said's death enraged many Egyptians, who went out on demonstrations protesting his brutal murder; Amnesty International urged the Egyptian government to investigate the killing of this young man; and the government claimed he was a criminal.

Khaled's murder is summarized again on the Facebook English page:

The story began on 7th June 2010 when Khaled Saeed went to his usual Internet cafe in Sidigaber – Alexandria Egypt.

Then two wild detective cops – Mahmoud Alfallah and Awaad Elmokhber/the detective – ambushed that cafe asking people for their IDs which is totally out of their authority and without legal permission He – Khaled – did reject that way of inhumane treatment and conequently was attacked so viciously, was kicked in his chest and belly severely, and his skull was smashed with the marble bar before all people and witnesses in the cafe while khaled was bleeding. Then savage cops abducted khaled and put him inside the police vehicle to continue torturing him to death in the police station. Finally, they had thrown his corpse in the street to claim that he was attacked by some strangers in order to avoid responsibility.

All of this is a result for the oppression system that Mubarak control Egypt under emergency law which gives the police the upper hands to treat the residents as slaves.

Shadowy added:

Eyewitnesses –cyber café clients and street pedestrians- asserted that the whole beat thing had carried on constantly for 20 minutes, and had been executed in full view of everyone, accompanied by Khaled´s screams, tears, and cries for help.

Another witness, Mahmoud Ali, reported that the two policemen had taken the victim´s body to "Seidy Gaber" police station, and brought it back 15 minutes later to the crime scene, and called an ambulance in order for them to get away with their crime.

Khaled´s brother certified to "Shorouk Newspaper" that Khaled had never been detained that particular night in any police station or elsewhere, and that he was very well-behaved, well-liked, and admired by his neighbors and friends. He also mentioned that he´s from a virtuous family, whose sons aren´t prison birds. "As soon as I had heard the police station´s conviction of my brother, I headed straight for the American Embassy and informed them of the incident, since I´m American citizen; I thought my American passport would safeguard me, in lieu of the Egyptian one, which is the main reason for his holder´s dishonor" He added.

The victim´s attorney, Waleed Saeed, had filed a complaint to the public prosecutor, accusing the two policemen of beating and torturing Khaled to death, and dragging his corpse all the way to the police station.

Who could have ever thought that the price Khaled would pay for asking “why” his basic rights were violated was going to be his life?! Well, as it turns out, this is the case under emergency law; every Egyptian should think twice, before he goes too far and decides stand up for his civil rights, assuming he is Martin Luther King of his age.

Traveller Within highlighted how the police handled the crime scene:

Policemen subsequently returned to the scene in search of any recording devices or phones that could’ve reported the incident. They failed however to prevent the news from being covered and widely shared via Twitter and other social media tools, which detailed accounts of the events, shared photos of the deceased before and after his death, and began to organize for demonstrations and civil actions to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice and to protest the use of Emergency law, in place since 1981 andextended just last month for a further 2 years, with the explicit declaration by the state that it would only be used “in cases of terrorism and drug trafficking”.

 

Photo by Sarah Carr

 

Will E. went to the June 13th demonstration and gave the following account

Upon my arrival I was pulled by the shirt and threatened to be arrested and was about to be if the policemen weren't busy dragging two other guys to the police truck, but that's an insignificant event in the scheme of things. I have to make it clear that I hadn’t uttered a word when I had first arrived and that I was addressed with the most impolite names and a very disrespectful manner. I was threatened that I would be ‘taken’, anyone that was in the area would be ‘taken’, the policeman said before starting to drag me.
The two that were dragged upon my arrival happened to be in the area outside the perimeter. The police routinely confiscated cameras, and deleted all videos and images. To the best of my knowledge some cameras were given back and I cannot bear witness to the fate of the cameras. The policemen were all over the buildings and whenever chants would start, they'd give them a few minutes and then charge them.
A few people were injured, one of our friends was taken to a hospital, another person fleeing a charge from the police fell on his head and his face was covered in blood. They put him in a cab with what looked like a security person but I don’t know where he was taken.
There was fear in the air, fear of expressing any opinion in the protest, those officially surrounded had their view blocked by the men in black (amn markazy). For the police themselves it was business as usual, they didn’t care what was chanted, or who they were abusing.

The Traveller Within posted videosphotoslive clips, and wrote:

There were several demonstrations across Cairo yesterday, demanding justice for Khaled Mohamed Said and for his assassins to be judged – all the way up to the Minister of Interior, Habib El Adly. As one of the slogans chanted said–
"If that were Israel (or anywhere else, for that matter), El Adly's head would be gone"

Not in Egypt. Not when, as, once again, people chanted, the main purpose of the Police's existence is to protect the regime from the people.

On the protest, Zeinobia wrote:

The best photo I found for the protest was this photo from Assad.
Also here is another photo from Affet
I do not know how the regime dares and opens its mouth in front of the photos showing the brutality of the police against peaceful protesters.Just see the videos and slide shows below to understand what I mean.

Blogger and journalist Sarah Carr was also a witness to the Rule of Boars [detailed pictures]

More blundering, crass stupidity from the police yesterday, as they responded to demonstrators protesting police violence with violence, again.

Some 150 people assembled in Lazoghly Square – home of a state security headquarters – at 5 p.m. This number quickly grew as protestors prevented from gathering outside the main gate of the Interior Ministry – as had originally been planned – converged on the square. They managed to circle the square twice before the police were able to get their shit together. The usual black cordon of cannon fodder was quickly formed and we were hermetically sealed in.
We were well and truly kettled.

Amr Salama posted more pictures of the protests HERE
Kareem El Beheiry posted videos of the police crackdown and assaults on protesters HERE

So why did Khaled really die? Tabula Gaza answered:

Over the past few months I have been working on a video project about torture, so when I heard about the public beating and murder of 28-year old Khaled Sayed Thursday night it came as no surprise. According to blogger Mfatta7, Khaled had either filmed or obtained a video that reveals a number of police officers involved in a drug deal. This is the video provided by his sister [exposing police corruption and a drug dealing incident]

Amr Salama wrote down the conversation in the video

انتشر صباح اليوم السبت أحد مقاطع الفيديو الحديثة التي أثارت جدلاً واسعاً في قضية مقتل الشاب "خالد محمد سعيد" بين مجموعة كبيرة من المدونين ونشطاء الإنترنت المصريين، حيث أكد ناشروا هذا الفيديو أنه كان السبب الرئيسي وراء حادثة التعذيب التي تعرض شهيد الطوارئ وأفضت إلي وفاته علي حد تعبيرهم، ويظهر هذا الفيديو المصور داخل أحد المكاتب الذي يعتقد أنه مكتب مباحث قسم شرطة ضابط ومعاونوه الذين يرتدي بعضهم الملابس العسكرية المميزة لأمناء الشرطة، وهم يقومون بتقسيم كمية من الأحزار المضبوطة في أحد القضايا والمكونة من 80 كيلو من مخدر الحشيش وبعض النقود، وذلك تمهيداً لتحديد الكمية التي سيتم تسلميها إلي النيابة ضمن أحراز القضية والكمية الأخري التي سوف يتم تقسيمها فيما بينهم بحسب الرواية المذكورة من قبل ناشري هذا الفيديو، كما يسمع في هذا الفيديو صوت لأحد الموجودين وهو يقول"لزوم المزاج"، وصوت أخر يقول"مبروك عليك يا باشا" موجهاً حديثه إلي الضابط الذي يرد عليه عارضاً أخذ قطعة من الحشيش فيرفضها.
Clips from a recent video recording were widely shared and spread among internet users and activists. The clips were directly related to the murder of Khaled Said. The video shows a police officer and his assistants in an office where they were dividing 80 kilograms of drugs amongst themselves. You can hear them commenting saying: "to get high" and congratulating the boss.

Sandmonkey wrote:

When the story went out, and people saw the pictures, they were of course enraged. About a 1000 people gathered after the Friday prayers to protest in front of the police stations, and there are plans to do sit ins and demos this entire week, demanding that people take action, before they become the next Khaled. The Ministery of Interiorswiftly responded, by stating that Khaled was a criminal and a womanizer and a drug dealer and responsible for 9/11, and that he died from Asphysxiation, and the picture is simply after his body was diagnosed by the Coroner. And that really, really, we should be glad that such a menace to society at large is not with us anymore.

On the 12th of June 2010 the department of media and public relations of the Egyptian ministry of interior issued a statement denying the content of the testimonies of eyewitnesses as well as reports by human rights organizations regarding the killing of Khaled Said in Alexandria, accusing those statement of inaccuracy, flagrant falsification, and crossing the line in dissemination of lies etc. andTabula Gaza shared Al Nadeem Center's official statement [full statement here]

The MOI [Ministry Of Interior] statement then concluded that it will not "back down no matter how much the allegations". Nor shall we, no matter how much MOI spread their lies and terror. We shall continue to expose crimes of torture, reach out for the victims, provide legal, psychological and media support as well as all other forms of support until the torturers are brought to justice.. As long as there is no public apology.. as long as there is torture.. as long as the perpetrators are not brought to justice.. we shall not back down

Clearing up Khaled's image, Zeinobia wrote

The people are very angry in Alex especially in Sidi Gaber with the false reports about Khalid that led his friend and journalist Bahaa El-Tawil to write an Op-ed about late Khalid , the other Khalid the MOI did not know who refused to leave this county because he loves this country !! The other Khalid who did not escape from his military service as the MOI has claimed , the other Khalid who did not smoke a cigarette.

She also posted videos of his neighbors defending him and the owner of the internet cafe's testimonial

And even if Khaled was a "pot-head", a sexual offender, or a terrorist as the Ministry of Interior claimed, Zeinobia wonders

Do the police plain clothed agents have the right to search other citizens !!?? If No – which is the answer – then why they were searching the people !!??
Was there an official investigation warrant issued to search anyone in that street!!??
How did those agents know that Khalid was a dangerous con !!??
If we believe the MOI statement, shall we wonder how Khalid knew that the two men walking in the street in plain clothes were actually police agents !!??

Sandmonkey concluded his post saying:

Egypt likes to refer to itself as the land of Security and Safety. Please note that we always put the word Security first. We like to think we are safe, that we are better than those evil western countries, where a woman is raped every 48 seconds or whatever, but we are not. We are not Safe. None of us is. Not n this country, not in this world. Any one of us could lose that spark of life at any minute, and the lucky ones get it quickly and painlessly. The unlucky ones suffer. The really unlucky ones end up like Khaled.

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