Saturday, December 31, 2005

Rantings of a Sandmonkey: Our National Shame

Rantings of a Sandmonkey: Our National Shame

Sandmonkey covers the official story:

In a showdown played out during the first five hours of Friday, the protesters dismantled their plastic sheeting and cardboard, but most refused to leave on buses brought in to take them to camps elsewhere in Cairo.

Shortly before dawn, thousands of riot police encircled the camp, set up near the refugee agency to draw attention to the refugees' demands. Police fired water cannons at the protesters, then invaded the park when the Sudanese refused to leave.

20 are dead and many wounded. But Sandmonkey goes one better and points us to a first hand, eyewitness report with pictures from a vid phone (all hail citizen journalism):

I arrived campus at 11:00 pm to find State Security Trucks and plain cloth police filling and closing the roads of Batal Ahmed Abdel Aziz, Ahmed Orabi, and Gameet el Dewal streets.

Public white busses lined up all the way from Donuts House till Mustafa Mahmud square with a few number of state security soldiers sitting inside them. I was able to take down some of the public busses wagon numbers as I walked 4129, 3696, 4107, 4136, 4335, 3416, 3534, and 3416.[snip]

At 1:00 am, and it was really cold, security forced started flushing the Refugees with three water cannons from three different sides.[snip]

Refugees met the water floods with cheer and dance. We won’t go was their message.[snip]

The few civilians who gathered to observe the scene from far were mostly quiet amused. I painfully heard comments such “let them take a shower to become clean”, “Egypt has been more than patient with them”, “security forces should’ve got rid of them from day one. They (Sudanese) are disgusting”. Laughs interrupted such comments as the refugees were sprayed with water. Few stood silent with eyes wide open at the scene, while only one objected and explained that Sudanese have demands and rights to be met by UNHCR.[snip]

I was able to step to the second security circle surrounding them. A public bus waiting in the area had five Refugees at the back seat while a sixth one was being brutally beaten by 5 state security soldiers. From my position next to the bus I could see and hear him screaming as they beat him on his head and back with hands and batons, kicked him, and twisted his arm and wrist behind his back as his screams went louder and louder. An officer standing next to us explained that he is trying to break the window and escape because he is drunk. At this point a man from the back seat opened the window holding a few months old baby girl as he cried “we are not drunk, I am not drunk, he is not drunk, and this baby is not drunk. Her mother died here in this park”. They beat him to silence as well and continued with the sixth guy. A young man videod the scene on his cell phone and later Bluetoothed it to me.

Go read the rest

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