The Story of 2 Days I spent at the Egyptian Intelligence
Last Friday, the 4th of February, at night, I was arrested at one of the headquarters of the Egyptian intelligence. They were covering my eyes and there was a group of intelligence officers making conversations with many Egyptian activists who were arrested as me (9 of them were arrested while going out from El-Barada’i home). One of the intelligence officers told me in front of them “if we collected those 20 activists it would be 10% of what you did”, so I replied, “I am a humble person and I see that all of them are better than me”.
Before that, when I was writing about me being arrested or any abuse being practised against my rights, I considered this a type of an nonviolent war between me and the regime, meaning that that abuse my rights and I reply back by exposing them in front of the world, and the exposing usually makes good effect. But, this time I’m writing in a different way because this is the first time I feel that I’m a victim, and the first time I would be insulted that much. I’m writing this time not to take revenge, but to let people know what would happen to them if this revolution failed. Our revolution will protect us from these actions to be repeated against me and all of you.
Friday, 4th February – In front of the High Court
- I was heading to El-Tahrir in the noon of Friday Feb. 4th, to attend the protest. I went out from Gamal Abdlenaser Metro Station. Army officer standing beside a tank stopped me in the way to El-Tharir sq. and searched me 3 times, took my banners, my mobile and my ID then asked me to wait!
- “Civil state, not religious or military” , ” No for Omar Soliman or Ahmed Shafik “, ” 59 years are enough, Army” and ” My name is Maikel and will demonstrate despite the pop shenoda said” Was some slogans on my banners. Army officers were stopping any one with bags and i saw them not allowing people with Medical aids!
- I asked to speak to someone higher and he pointed his finger to some one civilian, told me he’s an intelligence officer, I went to him wondering, why are you not allowing me to enter while Omar Soliman and Ahmed Shafik Pledged to allow protesting?, he said “we have direct orders to don’t allow protesters to enter!” then he tied me from my back and connect me to the tank. People started to ask why I’m tied to the tank, I started to speak to them, so the intelligence officer took me to beside Revoli cinema theater to be away of people. I didn’t give up and started to chant against Hosni Mubarak and tell protesters to tell media that i got arrested. The intelligence officer came and slapped me on the face! And what really depressed me that people in the popular committees were helping the army to arrest me, thinking that the army is standing by us!
The Way to Unit 9770 c7
- A military police car with 440700 numbers came and took me, with a military police captain his name is” Mokhtar”. This captain was helping police by Ammo in the Friday of angry Jan. 28th, and then protests set his car in fire. He was insulting protesters along the way to our distention, and he beaten me on the head several times. I was surprised that he was passing on the popular committees with greeting some other civilian intelligence officers with some other Mubarak thugs and they were planning to arrest people heading to El-Tahrir sq.
- He drove his car through El-Sharabya, then stopped in a military area carrying the name” Unit 9770 c7 “. There were lots of arrested demonstrators there. There were also lots of foreigners, whom they ordered to leave the unit without their passports (because they burned their passports)
- At about 3:30 Pm, they tied my hands again behind me, and tied a cloth over my eyes. Then they put me in a microbus with other arrested demonstrators. Then we moved toward our unknown destination.
In the Intelligence Headquarters
- After around 30 minutes driving, the car stopped in an open silent place and it stopped there around 4 hours, we didn’t know where we are? And nobody told us anything. There was a near mosque, was praying “Elasr”, and “Elesha”. Army officers were really giving attention to me, because I was the only politician with political slogans in this group! Captain Mokhtar was Motivate others against me, we were hearing voices of people getting tortured. Officers around me were speaking about someone had been shoot in his leg because he tried to escape and he was bleeding without any help!
- They bring me alone away of others, and ”El-Zaffa” started. ” El-Zaffa” is an expression will-known by the old arrested people in Egypt and “El-Zaffa” is about high dose of beating and scaring that are given to new political prisoners! Someone was catching my nick and forced me to be bending over! And lots of beating sounds around me and some old intelligence officer was saying Rejoiced words!
- An army officer came to me and said this is The Headquarter of State Security Department, to remove suspicions about intelligence or army” and threatened me to be tortured if i didn’t complied with orders. He said “be quiet”, every few minutes some army officer was coming to me and asking about my name, my address, where i got arrested, and if answered the other officer beats me saying ” i said be quiet ” and if i didn’t answer he beats me and says ” answer”! And they kept doing the same stuff for around 30 minutes!
- Then, they started to move me and put me in different places, and every few minutes some army officers come and speak to me for a while. I’ve spoken to around different 10 army officers in that night! I think they were recording by video cam! This happened till 2.30 am, which means more than 6 hours of Investigations! They speak with me about my pacifism, my refusal to the military service, and why this revolution must be ended because the president did all what we asked about!
- Investigations with each activist and been heard by some other activist deliberately, i have heard some Investigations with others and i believe the same thing happened with me! They were targeting to be heard while saying what they want after all torture we got! And when activists listen to each other will lose their respect to their selves! That’s why when they met me with some youth from El-Barada’i campaign i said these youth are heroes and better than me, i did that because i want to confirm that we all respect each-others!
- It was very clear that all officers have personal loyalty to Mubarak, i was very sad about the Egyptian army because it has loyalty to a dictator! I envy Tunisia about its army!
- There was a very Sassy army officer, i think he was the same person that received me by beating in” El-Zaffa”. He told me that he’s 50 years old; he seemed to be a leader in the intelligence! He said, ” Would you serve in the army, Maikel? ” i said ” No.” then he started discussing me about my pacifist beliefs , they didn’t respect the freedom of belief, he said “You’ll serve in the army.” i said that won’t happen.” he said “you’ll get Court-martial” i said ” i choose by myself to get Court-martial when i refused to serve in the army, so it’s OK to get it now.”, also he was very nervous from the foreign persons I contact through my Email, it seems they’re no happy with my work with the pacifist European organizations !
- They were playing the old ” good officer” and ” evil officer” game, a one dealing with us in a bad way and the other one dealing in a very kind way!
- They were ridiculing on Christianity all the time, they gave care to know if I’m Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant, and they listen me to the lord’s prayer!
- They used to assert always that there’s no law here to protect us, and they can make with us however they want, honestly it was true! We were treated as captured enemy soldiers at war. All the time, we were tied from our backs, blinded, blending over, don’t know where we are, and we were not allowed to speak with each others! It’s really not the way to deal with good citizens in their homeland!
- At 2.30 am they let me sleep alone on open air on ground, i wasn’t with others, ” like Solitary” they didn’t give me a blanket like others, but gave me a carpet, and it was very rough, all my hands had been hurt because of it!
- I spent around 29 hours, till i been freed in the second day, but i was unblinded only in the toilet, and this was the time that i know what time was!
- The first, sexual harassment I experienced was from a small officer that arrested me in downtown, he searched my genitals, but I passed this situation as a part of searching!
- Second, in ” El-Zaffa” when they was catching my nick, and making me bend over and someone from the back trying to lower my jeans to give me impression that I’ll be raped!
- Third, Conscripts, were taking me from officer to other, one of them entered his hands inside my jeans and held me from my boxer!
- They were dealing with me like a female, some officer was speaking to his colleague like” I’ll come to you after I finish with her”
- I faced higher officers with that stuff and they acted like they don’t know, but in the second day these things stopped!
Freedom again, Saturday Feb. 5th 2011
- In the second day we spent till 2.30 pm in open air place and it was raining but they didn’t give a damn to move us to a different place! at 2.30 they moved me to the prison area, they were releasing many people, it was around 8 prisons each floor, the building was two floors, ” around 16 prison”, which means that they had over 300 prisoners. One prison had arrested female demonstrators, and they weren’t allowing the girls to go to the toilets!
- They were releasing everybody and put me in a corner without knowing what will happen to me! They were also bringing new arrested people that confirming the fake of Ahmed Shafik and Omar Soliman statements! At 6.30 Pm they put handcuffs in my hands, i scared because it was the first time in two days (they were tying me with a rope before). They well blinded my eyes, and they woke me long time in sand, i felt they will shoot me” they were criminals’, but they stopped a cab, put me inside, and asked me not to open my eyes except after minutes. I was only caring to go out this place alive! Two days with lots of scare and pain, i don’t want anyone to get similar experience in his/her life! After the cab drove for a while i unblinded my eyes, to see myself in El-Tayaran ST. in Nasr city, so i knew that i was in some military place in Raba’a El-Adawya in Nasr city!
My Last Comments:
- Although that i get the hardest days in my life, but after i was freed i started to feel how these people are cowards, they were scared to show their faces, or to let us know our place, we were tied from the backs, in front of them without weapons, and also they were scared! Never mind, freedom has a price, but they tried to give us the feeling that we’re weak, but we’re strong, there’s a difference between Strength and violence. We are stronger, and they are more violent. In some day Egypt will give everyone been tortured, in 59 years of military ruling his/her right!
- My message to protester in El-Tahrir, don’t give up, you have to continue what you started, that sq. is the only pressure we have, and we must not lose it. This revolution must be continued, because if it didn’t all Egypt will get what i got and maybe more! I’ll be back to El-Tahrir again after i recover within days!
- Again, I’ve been very sad, because the army Loyalty is to Mubarak not to Egypt, but i see people in El-Tahrir are very awared and they didn’t allow tanks to go inside the sq., take care, army is not with us, don’t lose the square,
- And my message to the officers who violated my rights, i know many things about you, and every time i know more. Don’t worry, you’ll be courted sometime!
Thanks for Mahmoud Saber, for the translation