Saturday, June 4, 2011

Another Sad Friday Night : The Azabakia clashes "Updated"

For hours now Down town Cairo is being on alert as there are reportedly clashes between the people and the police force at the Azbakia police station.  Traffic is paralyzed in certain areas in Cairo. Ramsis street traffic was halted for hours and it was diverted to Gomhouria street. It was dangerous , chaotic and alarming scene there. Too many contradicting news. There are reportedly injured in the clashes , the primary estimations speak at least about 20 injured in the first hours.
Now at least there is one dead but he was not dead because of the clashes , in fact he was the reason of why the clashes started and his name was Mohamed Sabah Said. “May Allah bless his soul”
There are two versions of the story ,one that is adopted by the MOI and the mainstream media and another one that is adopted by the activists and also many internet users in Egypt. Nobody knows for sure which one is correct but old experience makes me doubt any official statement from MOI especially concerning Police torture and brutality. It is worth to mention this is the third incident from that kind where police is accused of torture till death in just one week after February 11,2011 !!!!!!!!!!!!!
The MOI version claims that microbus driver Mohamed Sabah broke the traffic laws in the area and when the police station’s sheriff went to speak to him, to show him his mistake , he insulted him badly. The citizens standing there could not tolerate this verbal attack and decided to teach that rude driver a lesson he would not forget. They beat the driver after being arrested and in his way to the prosecution office. Due to the severe beating he fainted and the sheriff had to transfer him to El Damrdsh public hospital where he died  !! The driver turned to have a criminal sheet and the prosecution has ordered opened an investigation and interrogated 5 witnesses. 
Already why did not the sheriff save him from this anger mob !? This is against article no.289 from the criminal law.
Now the second version , the family of the late driver and several eyewitnesses support : Now the sheriff wanted the driver to show his driving license and id but the driver refused thus the sheriff slapped him. In return the driver left the bus and started a fight with the sheriff , the sheriff and his men allegedly beat the crap out of the driver and then dragged him to the police station. Allegedly at the police station the driver was tortured and electrified till death. According to his family that received his dead body from Zanhom morgue , his body was blue with marks of beatings and burns. 
It is worth to mention that some eye witnesses say that the driver slapped the officer first while others claim there was a verbal fight between the two at first that developed in to a physical one. Still those eye witnesses all agree that Sabah went to the police station and came out of it as a dead man.
We know that the microbus drivers are not the most kindest or sweetest or the politest drivers in Cairo but why you slap a person on his face , is this in the law !? Or if the driver did slap the officer on his face , is that enough reason to be allegedly tortured and killed !?
Now the police denies that Sabah died inside the police station despite you got websites like Al Ahram portal and Al Masry Al Youm said that he died at the police station. “I do not know if they changed it or not”
Now the family of Sabah and his friends came and surrounded the police station demanding justice and things developed from bad to worse to worst. The protesters and the police force at the station began to hurl stones at each others then thugs came with their Molotov cocktails and knives thus turning it in to a true violent chaotic scene. Some say that these were thugs hired by the station while others say that they were thugs who came to get their friends out of detention !!!!!
The military police came to the area in order to protect the police station along with center security forces “CSF". Lt.General Hamdy Badeen was reportedly there according to blogger Hossam Hamalawy who was tweeting from there.
Hossam saw a CSF vehicle set on fire by the people there.

Burning down a CSF vehicle in Ramsis
The military police vehicles came and fired shots in the air according to eye witnesses to disperse this scene , then the CSF arrived and began to fire tear gas grenades. 
Gigi Ibrahim took the photo of the military police vehicle showing at the police station.

The shops owners were alarmed and feared on their shops , they brought sticks and stood protecting them. Some shopkeepers closed the shops and left the place like many who thought it was getting from bad to worse.
The Azabakia police station has not been torched tonight as the media claimed , it was actually torched on January 28th by the protesters due to its bad record in human rights in Cairo.
I do not know how the situation has gone so far except Sheikh Safwat Hegazy came to the scene to calm down the protesters and ask them to leave !!
By the way the Cairo security directorate accused 6th April youth of staging the protest at the station !!!!!!! Now 6th April youth has nothing to do with this from near or far. Of course some activists came from Tahrir square to protest shortly at Ramsis street.
Now we got two cases : Alleged torture case and thuggery case and strangely they are both connected to law and order.
This is just pre-January 25 !!
The story is developing.
Update : 
Videos began to appear.
Here is a good video report from El Wafd portal , from the protests at night.
 Now Sabah's cousin told Al Jazeera Mubshar Misr and said that the Copt hospital refused to receive the dead body of Sabah because he was dead. He also said that they went to protest at the MOI where they received politely and were promised that the case will be investigated.
And the Sheriff also spoke to Al Jazeera Mubshar Misr
Ok with my all due respect I do not believe for one second that the sheriff spoke that politely with the driver , this is impossible , truly impossible.
Now here is a video filmed at 11.30 PM showing protesters chanting anti-police chants
Here is another video at 12 AM people are speaking about versions.

Here is a video from Halal hospital where the injured kept. It seems that their families tried to get in to the hospital angrily and there was chaos.

Amazingly no video has surfaced from the fight to enforce any of the two versions up till now.


  1. well I am german and I am in egypt for about 4 years and in this time I can only say: its version no. 2.

    I saw many times how police officers (after jan 25) have attacked people who went by, drivers who were just searching for a parking area and so on. the officers have slaped the driver and his friend, called them names like "homar" and "scharmuta". they thwon the driving lisence on the street between hundreds of cars. last week I saw officers at faisal st. in giza who were fighting with a man of a car park because the officer just couldnt like his face. it started with an "hello" an ended with "son of a dog". well nice revolution we had. for nothing!?

  2. The officer concocted a story too good to be true. Almost a perfect screenplay to a fault. The officer provided upfront proof to every possible question and doubt. But if any detail of his story is false, then he is lying and the whole story loose credibility.

    To claim the officer was so passive after been slammed in public, and even pled with the mob not to hurt the driver is unbelievable. Is this a reasonable reaction from a police officer? Since when civilians are attacking another civilian, even a thuggery driver, to protect and avenge a police officer?

    I see the officer is definitely lying about his reaction to been slammed. No one needs to lie to support the truth, but to cover it. This tint his whole version to be a coverup.

  3. Syria shuts down the Internet. Slashdot or Renesys. It's déjà vu all over again.

  4. I would like to thank you for the efforts you've made in writing this posting. I'm hoping the same very best function from you inside future too.

  5. We don't know the details but one thing is for sure.
    The microbus drivers are the rudest most ignorant idiots I have ever known to have a licence to drive. They should all have their licences taken off them. I have had too many fights with them after telling them to slow down and to stop driving like idiots! They have no respect at all for the law. No respect at all for passengers or their safety and absolutely no respect for any pedestrians crossing the roads.
    I would haul every last one of them into the police station and remove their licences and put them in jail if they said one word to me. The police are not angels but they have a hell of a job with the drivers who drive here who act like lunatics escaped from the asylum. I am more inclined to believe the police this time because these microbus driver now think they can do as they like as they think the police are scared of them. Just remember if this was in the USA the driver would be hauled over the bonnet of the car with a gun to his head if he talked back to the police.
    Maybe thats what should be done with the idiot drovers of Egypt or else get rid of every car and get them back to riding donkeys and camels.
    The driving here is disgusting!!!! to any civilized person who has been outside of Egypt and seen the driving elsewhere.

  6. People! In your freedom is lawlessness? you do not want to comply with any laws or rules!

  7. To civilization you away! Freedom you received, but what to do with it do not know .........

  8. so you're justifying his murder? just like that 'criminal record' that surfaced the police is trying to say he isn't worth it because he has a criminal record.
    you don't know anything about microbus drivers. They might not be great drivers but they have suffered a lot from the police from confiscation of their vehicles to forced bribes even if their papers are in check if anyone is practising thuggery it's the police against those striving drivers who work 16 hours just to make ends meet and half their earnings are taken by the police. What happened is the police are trying to restore their 'pride' on the street they start by terrorising drivers and not just microbus drivers, regular taxi and motorists but microbus take the most severe treatment whether they broke the traffic laws or not. The victim probably and wrongly thought he should not take any more crap from the police and answered back but I doubt very much he laid his finger on the policeman let alone a chief.. he probably got verbal and the police chief thought he had to be taught a 'lesson' inside the station. Like many other 'lessons' inside torture chambers it ended badly and the detained was killed. This is what really happened.. plain and simple.

    As for making excuses for his murder like his driving skills
    or even a criminal record-which by the way many microbus drivers have one because of trumped up charges to intimidate them in the future- just shows what a civilised individual you are. You think bad driving justifies torture and murder? you should be living in a jungle. You self-loathing jerk, if you believe bad drivers should have their licenses suspended then it won't be just microbus rdrivers off the streets but every motorist in Egypt will not be allowed to drive- except perhaps for Port Said drivers.

  9. You can tell a great deal about a country by looking at how its people drive. Somehow their true inner behavioral patterns emerge to show exactly who they are often dangerous uneducated arrogant people. Endlessly unsafe switching lanes without warning left right an center, overtaking on both sides, jumping queues, using the horn to bully other drivers, speeding at all time, not respecting safety limits and other drivers, driving without overdue safety towards pedestrians, not adhering to built up area or residential speed limits, not leaving a safe distance between other vehicles, navigating between other vehicles in a jam etc.. often this offer a window not just to the drivers inner mind, but the whole nation behavioral pattern and especially the effectiveness of the police and the law. It show unpunished disrespect for the law, the police and other citizens. I saw that in every Middle Eastern and North African country i visited including Egypt if I might add.In the US you will be taught a lesson you will never forget for the rest of your life, and in the UK the police will approach it with the utmost calm and professionalism and "you will" lose your license with a hefty fine that will hit your pocket so bad you will need psychological therapy to get back on your feet again.

  10. yeah ok, in the US and the UK blah blah....does the driver get murdered? you don't even know if that driver did indeed break the law or not or if he was standing his ground against police thuggery and forced bribes and even if, he deserves to be torutured and killed? this isn't about driving habits or breaking traffic law, this is about MURDER. your excuses for justifying a murder is despicable and disgusting.

  11. It looks as if you only want to put the blame on the sherif! Why would he torture the driver? Just for fun? Because he could?

    No. The sad truth is that today nobody respects the police. The driver, having a criminal record, broke the law and resisted arrest.
    I don't know why he died, but I see that you and others are trying to create a false image. Protesters are always right - policemen are always wrong.

    It is time that Egyptians learn to respect rules. It is time that Egyptians learn to accept that actions trigger reactions and to accept responsibility rather to coming up with endless (mostly ridiculous excuses.

    All those who clashed with the police on Saturday night deserve being sent to jail. They resist justice. They are the criminals and so was the driver.

  12. Thanks for the hard work Zenobia.
    Very probably this is another example of the ongoing abuse by the police that we are used to. All the police. except for a few high profile ones, are still in their jobs and their contempt for the working class is well known. Why should we not expect the same kind oF abuses that we had under the old regime. Sad but true.

    The Egyptian ruling class (the upper middle class) have used the police to keep the working class down for a long time. The working class have always been characterized by the middle class as "rude". "ignorant", "insensitive", "uneducated", "disrespectful of the law" etc etc (in fact, the the representation is founded on the ultimate depiction of them as "animals" and this dehumanization justifies their abuse and even murder).

    Of course, if you are a working class person, microbus driver or other then you see things very differently. For you the police have never represented "law and order" and certainly never brought you any "justice" in your life. In fact the police have just oppressed you, in exactly the same way as the mafia, preying on you all your life. You operate and try and earn a living in a country where all the laws and those who enforce them act against you. Which law should you heed, the law that oppresses you?

  13. what ridiculous excuses? actions trigger reactions..that;s true and the action was killing that man, the reaction was the protests because of police conduct. What justice did they resist, do you even fathom the concept of justice?? do you know for a fact that he resisted arrest? and what was the reason for arrest? if he did indeed break a traffic law that requires a fine not arrest shmuck. And what has his criminal record has to do with anything, having a criminal record DOES NOT justify arresting or detaining someone let alone torturing... ever heard of human rights? and we don't even know if he indeed had a criminal record or not... have you seen it? or just because the chief says so you blindly believe it

    you don't know why he died? well surely he didn't die from a stroke or heart attack. He died out of beating up and that's the only fact we know it happened. he was beaten to death and even the chief cannot deny it, he jst claims that it wasn't the police who beat him up although we know he entered the station on his 2 feet and walked out a corpse..just a coincidence? so you don't know how he died although everybody knows it, you don't know if he broke the law, you don't know why he was arrested and for what? do you realise how stupid you sound and then you talk of justice... absurd!

  14. Anonymous said...

    It looks as if you only want to put the blame on the sherif! Why would he torture the driver? Just for fun? Because he could?

    Yes. It's known as sadism, a psychosis required in most of Egypt's police. Police members who were not blessed with sadism are conditioned in their training programmes to attain sadistic behaviour or to become comfortable with displays of sadism-so not to embarrass their fellow policemen who possess the talent. The history of recruiting individuals of sadism or other mental tendencies in Police and security establishments goes back to the 1960's.

  15. How can we have elections under these conditions?
    They can't even secure prep exams how the monkey are they gonna secure polling stations.
    When is SCAF gonna stop blaming "hired mobs", and start blaming their freakin' incompetence?

  16. oh my god this is a refuge for idiots! "we don't know for sure" but for sure the police is wrong! Hahahahah! He should not be arrested for slapping the police man ??? Whooaaa! No wonder that this country is going down the drains. Now we are defending criminals against the police! Isn't this just fine?

  17. Egypt is already in did trouble from economy and security! Almost everyday we heard and read stories of violence in Egypt! the lack of security in Egypt is not helping the image of the country and the people! Egyptians need to learn to respect and obey law. Freedom does not give you reason to do whatever you want and think its right! I have seen so many Egyptians breaking the law especially on the road! for e.g. in front of the departure hall at the airport. so many drivers parked their cars even though the sign were clearly there 'No Parking' and the police didnt dare to stop them because he is afraid of the confrontation with the drivers! So many people cant drop off their friends or passengers because of the parked cars! when we asked him he told us 'this is freedom'!

    Police have job to do but they too dont have the right to take law in their hands. Any police who commit crime should be punished by law too!

    Right now the police job is to take care all the thugs out there and bring security back to the streets without it dont expect tourists back to Egypt anytime soon!

  18. There was never any real police in Egypt, if you were assaulted or robbed on the streets before the revolution the police would not intervene. And even if people were fighting the police would not separate them. If you were the victim of a crime you wouldn't report it to the police because there was a chance you wouldn't come out of the police station. You can't associate the police with "carrying out the law" in Egypt, as you might do in another country, they did not protect the people. The idea of a police force that "serves the people" has yet to develop here, there has been no law here for a long time.

  19. Country of idiots! Freedom means the absence of rules and laws? It still has not touched you personally, as long as you are not robbed or raped! "Open your eyes, you fall into the abyss!


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