November 29, 2011

Parliamentary Elections

After thinking a lot about going to cast my vote or not, I did go this morning (the second day) with a preconceived idea on how to nullify my vote. Many had called for a boycott of the elections and, until last night, I thought I would join the majority of voices asking for the boycott. However, when we found out that the call for the boycott was not followed and that according to many the actual turn out was even more important than that of the referendum, I decided to cast a blank vote, as suggested by other activists who believe these elections are illegitimate and unaccounted for. This morning, when I woke up, I walked to the polling station, and succeeded in casting my vote. I took extra care to do it right but then I wrote on the ballot papers : down down with military rule. My polling station is not very far from the Ministry of Interior and getting there is quite difficult. APCs are all over the place. Big amounts of army personnel are dispersed all along the way. I did not take pictures as I did not feel up to the discussions that would follow. Also today the polling station was quite empty and I finished everything in 5 minutes.

November 15, 2011

Personal Experience

I wrote this and published it on February 14 2011, 11:38 on Facebook under the title Tahrir Square:  Take care of the Military Police, I meant it as a warning about the way Military Police could handle events

Military Police is not very nice and under Military rule some excesses can be made. So to all Freedom lovers , I beg of you, be prudent. An hour ago, Two "Mokhabarat" (army secret services)  came up to my flat and asked me to come down to meet the Lewa (General) . Being a generally obedient citizen respecting laws I followed without any resistance.
While going down I found out that two journalists from the Al- Jazeera networks had their material confiscated from my own roof top, I do own the building after all.
Trying to get inside towards where Mr. General was, even the "Mokabarat" had a wobble with the guarding Military police squad. They didn't want us past their point. We eventually managed. I was asked to walk up to were the big Newspaper stand is and then I was asked to wait. Mr General, finally arrived and his attitude was slightly aggressive, his attacks were stoically answered, up to the point when he asked if I was Egyptian and when I answered yes he said : "I doubt", at this we were into trouble because I answered less calmly: "If you doubt my Egyptianity (sic) Then I doubt yours". Our Voices were getting higher when the Mokhabarat intervened and the Carrot was there as the stick didn't work, Actually it is Mr. General himself who called them at his rescue, but that is besides the point.
The Mokhabarat were much nicer and tried to convince me of the importance of the country to start working again.
I agreed. The other point he tried to defend was that they needed to keep their being anonymous as they are "Military Intelligence", a point that I could not disagree upon, nonetheless I could disagree about the point that the world needed to know what was going on in Tahrir Square . We had a political discussion that was civil, and a religious one where I claimed my Atheism , this was a bit harder to swallow and only went through after a long discussion ended by me saying that "I even watched a few times the program of Moustafa Mahmoud " El 3lm Wel Iman" (Science and Creed) when I was much younger, and haven't been convinced, this is the point when he finally decided to go and try to convince the General that I should be released. It took maybe 10 minutes but I was thanked and asked to go Home.
I tried to ask for opening a mahdar to the General but that was not possible it seems.

 So that was the situation 9 months ago, only a couple of days after Moubarak was resigned. It is now much worse to follow up about the events that happened since  and that culminated with the arrest of Alaa Abdel Fattah, an activist and the man considered as the first Egyptian blogger. 

And to read more about the subject of Military Justice or rather Injustice in Egypt and the No to <ilitary trials for Civilians movement you can check out this list of articles