unFree World

Four-year-old Mahmood Muhammed stands next to his father as he takes part in Friday prayers at Tahrir Square. Tens of thousands of anti-Mubarak protesters gathered Friday for what they billed as the “day of departure.” (Carolyn Cole, Los Angeles Times / February 5, 2011)

via Egypt secret detentions: Disappearances at the hands of police haunt Egypt; the uprising has only made things worse – latimes.com.

He was almost too shaken by sobs to speak, this thin-shouldered man with missing teeth. Finally he was able to choke out the words: “I am afraid my son is dead.”

At 16, the boy, Rabiyeh, was his father’s life and pride. Now he is missing, one of hundreds of people unaccounted for since the start of the 11-day-old rebellion against President Hosni Mubarak. Their loved ones fear they have been ensnared by Egypt’s vast security apparatus, a shadowy world from which many never emerge.

Over 1,300 people have been detained since the start of the protests.  Many have been released, but at least 500 are still missing.  The New York Times has a first-hand story from 2 reporters who were detained of the torture going on in police stations across Egypt.

Here, in the safety of our homes in the US, it is so unimaginable – police torturing dissidents.  We have rights guaranteed by our Constitution.  But then I recall the 1960s, and Kent State, and realize it is all too easy for governments to become fearful of their citizens.  And Mubarak has much more to lose than Nixon did. We were  opposed to a war – Egypt’s citizens want to bring down a whole government system.

 

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