Jan 25th, the Master and the Slave

Medhat al Zahed, deputy leader of the Socialist Popular Alliance said in an interview on BBC that “it was clear, no other party was there in the square, there was only them and us.”

Clear? There is no such thing as clear in this mess of manipulation of facts the media presents. Osama Hammam, a photojournalist with the Egyptian Youm El said: “My photos show reality”. Thanks to all the brave individuals sharing their views, photos and videos (yes, also the intentional misleading ones) we come a little closer to the truth and learn to disregard the version of reality the media is telling us to accept.

Who does he mean by “Us”?

Us, meaning the Socialist Popular Alliance Party of which Shaimaa al-Sabbagh is reported to be/have been a leading member. Zohdy El-Shamy, vice president of the SPAP, went to the prosecutor to offer his testimony where he was accused of killing Shaimaa was handcuffed and arrested in Qasr Al-Nil due to an arrest warrant issued 29 January. El-Shamy then was questioned at the police station and the district prosecutor’s office for two days, according to lawyer Ragia Omran who was present during the investigations. Omran said that El-Shamy’s home was searched by the National Security Investigations, “no traces of cuts in the jacket were found and it was proven that it could not have been used to carry a weapon.”

The party’s Secretary-General Talaat Fahmy, was also arrested during the protest as were members Sayed Abul Ela, Hossam Nasr, Mostafa Abdul Al, and Mohamed Salah. They were released on Sunday, along with doctor Maher Nassar who was arrested while trying to provide medical assistance for Al-Sabbagh. Security authorities refused to let the Socialist popular alliance party hold the memorial service of late Shaimaa in the iconic Omar Makram Mosque twice last week it was reported.

The SPAP submitted a list of demands to the prosecutor general. Demands included holding the Ministry of Interior responsible for Al-Sabbagh’s murder, and excluding the ministry from any investigations or procedures relating to the case.

The party also demanded that a judge independent from the prosecution be assigned to the case to ensure fair and impartial investigation.

A number of parties, including Al-Dostour, Al-Adl, and Al-Karama parties, as well as public figures like Hamdeen Sabahy, have all expressed their solidarity with the SPAP’s demands.

One can debate the voting power of the SPAP, but they are the Non-Islamist Pro-Revolutionary party in Egypt representing youth. El-Sisi needs to show the world that the revolutionary youth of the 25 January Revolution is not oppressed.

Who is “Them”?

National security forces, central security forces, military, police, brigade from the Brotherhood? I don’t know who exactly is them. The masked ones with rifles? The ones in uniform giving orders? The ones in civilian clothes seen detaining protesters?

Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim denied allegations regarding the killing of Al-Sabbagh, and maintained that police forces have not used birdshots on protesters and only used two tear gas canisters. They suggested in a statement that Islamist “infiltrators” were to blame. “There is a brigade from the Brotherhood that is entirely dedicated to fabricating photos and videos that tell stories of police attacking citizens.

Forensic Medicine Authority confirmed Al-Sabbagh died of a birdshot. Birdshot, which would have broken the glass (which witnesses said they heard hitting) if it broke skin and lacerated a lung.

El-Sabbagh was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital she was brought to in a private car. No specifics given, no names quoted. Shouldn’t the authority have also confirmed that Al-Sabbagh died from deliberate neglect facilitated by police who prevented everyone helping Al-Sabbagh from doing so by arresting them instead?

You see, there is no such thing as clear. There never is, especially when you see people point out how clear it all is.

Philippe Bolopion, United Nations Director of Human Rights Watch said “you can clearly see here this police officer getting in a shooting stance, pointing the gun towards the protesters and then the shot rings … and Shaimaa falling to the pavement ….strong evidence that the one with the black facemask is the one who shot Shaimaa.”

Activists, lawyer and director of the Centre for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance Azza Soleiman was at the scene and stated on her Facebook account that “the police dispersed the protest with water…. the protest did not exceed 30 people and was peaceful, police forces were much bigger in number in comparison to protesters, and they were masked in a frightening way that suggests they were planning ’treachery.’

I have read bloggers report the ratio of protesters to security was about 2 1/2 to 1. I can somewhat confirm this by looking at the videos and photos which all show the ample presence of security. There is no plausible explanation given to why everyone close to Shaimaa was removed and detained, yet she was ignored. Why was no ambulance summoned, yet she was whisked off in a private car? Why did the Quasr al-Nir prosecutor ask not to publish the autopsy report, and why did the prosecutor general issue a publication ban on the case?

There is no plausible explanation given to anything, just a loud cacophony of voices proclaiming that Shaimaa died of non existent bird shot to the face or chest or neck or back from various perpetrators. The physiological symptoms she displayed don’t match the results from injury to lungs or heart.

Is the whole world listening to Philippe or Medhat or will they use their own faculties to understand what lies before them in plain sight? see here


Press Release 23 Mar 2015 Lawyer and Woman Human Rights Defender Mrs. Azza Soliman, Mrs. Nagwa Abbass (member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party), 15 members and others charged with unauthorized protesting, and breach of security and public order.

Mrs. Azza Soliman is the founder of the feminist pioneering NGO, Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA) currently serving as its Board of Trustees Head.

The General Persecutor released a statement on March 16, 2015 regarding the incident of killing WHRD Mrs. ElSabbagh, where he declared that the incident has been processed in 3 cases; the first case is accusing Yassin ElEmam – a police officer of the Central Security Forces – of assault resulting in death and deliberately attacking the other participants of the peaceful march; the second case is accusing General Rabie ElSawy – the Commander of the Police Forces – and a soldier of concealing evidence; while the third case is against members of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, and witnesses as mentioned above.

2 April 2015 – Amnesty International

Azza Soliman is among the witnesses who are being charged.  “It was only minutes before the security forces started to fire tear gas and shotguns towards the march,” said Azza Soliman, who described how she ran to hide in a side street where she witnessed Shaimaa al-Sabbagh’s killing by the security forces.

Maher Shaker, a doctor, had been sitting in the Zahret el-Bustan café a few streets away from the march when Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was brought in, wounded. The man who carried her into the café, Mostafa Abdel Aal told Amnesty International that he had seen the head of the security forces pointing towards the place where Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was standing and ordering his forces to shoot in that direction. All the streets were closed… Dr Maher Shaker was sitting in one of the cafés and mentioned he could provide first aid.” Maher Shaker said: “I was far away from the place where the incident occurred….”

Shortly afterwards both men were arrested along with three others. They were held for one night and referred to the prosecutor for questioning the next day. Both testified against the security forces and were later charged.  Another witness arrived at the Prosecutor’s Office after being summoned to testify as an eyewitness about Shaimaa al-Sabbagh’s death, only to find that the security forces had accused him of shooting her himself. The murder accusation was dismissed due to insufficient evidence and instead he was charged with protesting without authorization and disturbing public order.

Ali Suleiman a lawyer for the Socialist Popular Alliance Party which had organized the march said:
“The head of the prosecution called us personally and said I would like eyewitnesses to the incident. After the [witnesses] gave their testimonies, he charged them with protesting.  Another party member accused in the case, Taha Tantawi, said he was shocked to find himself on the list of defendants as he considered providing eyewitness testimony his “duty”.

June 11, 2015

The Cairo Criminal Court ruled against 24-year-old police lieutenant Yassin Hatem Salahedeen, charged with manslaughter over the death of 32-year-old activist Shaimaa el-Sabbagh and has sentenced  him to 15 years in prison.   (CAIRO (AP))

June 29 2015

Hisham Barakat, Egypt’s top public prosecutor was killed by a car bomb attack on his convoy in a suburb of the capital, Cairo. Barakat had been appointed prosecutor-general by Egypt’s then interim-President Adly Mansour in July 2013, shortly after the military ousted the country’s first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi. Egypt names Zakaria Abd El-Aziz Osman as acting prosecutor general.

The Brotherhood has denied responsibility for the attack. The bomb blast wounded at least nine other people including police and civilians. 

Last month, Egypt’s affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group urged followers to attack judges. Three judges were shot dead in the northern Sinai city of al-Arish.

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