Friday, December 16, 2011

Egypt Crackdown: The Undeclared War on Radical Dissent

By: Serene Assir
Published Saturday, December 17, 2011

"With several people dead and hundreds injured at the sit-in near the Cabinet building, the Egyptian military seems intent on crushing an increasingly isolated radical protest movement.

Cairo Three weeks into a sit-in at the gates of the Cabinet building in downtown Cairo, Egyptian protesters faced a brutal military crackdown Friday that apparently involved the use of live ammunition, electric taser weapons and sticks, as well as Molotov cocktails and stones thrown from rooftops above Qasr al-Aini Street.

At least three people have been killed, according to the Ministry of Health. “The death toll may actually be higher, because the use of live ammunition continues as we speak,” said field doctor Melad Atef. Several hundred were reportedly injured.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued a statement denying the use of live ammunition against protesters. The statement also said people in Egypt have the right to peaceful protest. In an interview with Egyptian state television, General Director for Security in Cairo General Mohsen Murad blamed protesters for ongoing violence.

The last Facebook status update by one of those reportedly killed, Alaa Abdel Hadi, made waves in online activism circles. “I’m going out to see whats happening,” he wrote. “May God protect us.” He never returned.

Meanwhile, hundreds have been wounded, with a prevalence of injuries to the head, the legs and the backs of protesters. The Egyptian Ministry of Health cited 257 injured. Calls from downtown Cairo for additional medical volunteers continued through the evening, as injuries continued to rise......"

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