Saturday, May 06, 2006

Family Members Speak Out about Arrests

Despite the continued government harassment, friends and family members of the Egyptians arrested in the last week of April are speaking out about the government. The following statement was issued this week:

"You wonder why we are here and for whom?

"We are here because of the 40 young Egyptian men who were arrested by security authorities last week. Their only crime is that they raised the Egyptian flag and demanded the independence of the judiciary.. an independence that is not controlled but he government or anybody else.. Riot police and officers beat and humiliated 40 citizens who were raising banners and flags.. they were not throwing bombs of knives; they did not steal millions, which they transferred to their accounts in foreign banks; they did not receive bribes nor did they embezzle millions; among them was nobody who owns a fairy that drowned with one thousand Egyptian workers and than fled to London under the pretext of therapy. At the time when terrorist attacks were hitting Sinai, Egyptians security was crashing and detaining Egyptian youth for no crime other than speaking the truth. Last Thursday more then 5 thousand riot police blocked the streets and prevented us fro supporting our honorable judges. They blocked people from going to work, from reaching hospitals; they totally blocked the traffic. They ignored the terrorists in Sinai and focused on the peaceful opposition.

"The irony is that all this happened at the same time when Mubarak was giving his May Day speech talking about peace, freedom and democracy, about safety and security and prosperity. At that very moment his security forces were attacking people because they were expressing their views. Soldiers were stepping with their boots on university students who were in the demonstration. Foreign TVs and newspapers were there filming and reporting the aggression against our sons, daughters and colleagues. However Egyptian TV on all channels were broadcasting Mubarak’s speech, full of lies and fantasies about democracy and how content people are. It was as if he was talking on a totally different country.

"We are here today to protest this injustice and corruption which we face under Mubarak’s regime. We are part of you. We are not strangers. The detainees could have been your brothers or your sons. Put yourself in the place of a mother whose son has been taken away from her and thrown into Tora prison, not knowing whether he was beaten or for what charge he was arrested; not able to know anything about his whereabouts. Those young men were not arrested because of murder or drug dealing. They were arrested because they understand what is going on in our country and are courageously expressing their opinions. Anyone of us could subject to that same arrest because we live under emergency laws. And yesterday Mubarak extended the emergency state for a further two years. This law allows the police to attack people on the streets and to spread fear among people. They can basically detain anybody they want, and ruin their careers, under the pretext that they are “dangerous”.

"We are here to tell this regime that they must release our children, because their detention is illegal; and to protest the extension of the emergency state which led security authorities to neglect the terror in Sinai and show off its power against peaceful young people who demand their rights using banners and statements, without weapons or violence. They ignore the thieves and the terrorists and focus on those who expose corruption.

"If the government was serious about reform which they have been talking about on each and every occasion, it should release the detained youth immediately, it should let people express their views. If the regime was confident that it is being just, if they do not have anything to hide, why should they fear ordinary citizens who talk about corruption?

Join us, because injustice is indiscriminate. Join us so that we can release the detained. Let us follow the ancient wisdom: 'The best deed is a word of justice in the face of a tyrant sultan'”.



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