Egypt: Have Activists and Journalists Been Targeted in Tahrir Square Clearing?

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Egyptian riot police attacked the tent-camp set up in Tahrir Square for a sit-in that was started by many activists and protesters after yesterday's demonstration. Tear gas, rubber bullets and bird shots were used, injuring scores of people.

Among those who were injured is Malek Mostafa (@malek), who has reported lost an eye.

Lobna tweets [ar]:

@lobna: مالك فقد وظائف عينه اليسرى، هيتعمل له عملية انهارده لانقاذ شكل العين و موضعها

@lobna: Malek's left eye has lost its function. He'll have an operation today only to fix its shape and position.
Malek Eye
A photo of Malek with his eye bleeding.

Photo shared by @shmpOngO

Netizens describe Malek as a blogger and one of the bravest activists who have been doing much to their country. There was an out pour of reactions after his injury was announced.

The Big Pharaoh tweets [ar]:

@TheBigPharaoh: مالك الجدع الطيب المتواضع اللى ضحى كتير عشان البلد دى عينه راحت

@TheBigPharaoh: Malek the brave, kind and humble one who sacrificed much for this country lost his eye!

Boody adds [ar]:

@BooDy: مالك ده أخويا، صفوا عين أخويا ولاد الكلب. كفاية سلمية بقى

@BooDy: Malek is like a real brother to me, the bastards shot his eye, enough with peaceful protesting then.

Malek was imprisoned with Alaa Abdel-Fattah (who is currently detained) in 2006 under Hosni Mubarak's regime. His latest blog posts [ar] were about his hunger strike in solidarity with Alaa and all other civilians detained after being tried in front of military courts. Alaa's wife Manal Hassan tweeted about what happened to Malek, and how it is believed that the current Egyptian regime knew whom they were targeting.

@manal: My dear friend @Malek has lost his eye today in #Tahrir he was in prison with @alaa in 2006. They want to get rid of us all #FuckSCAF

According to reports, it seems that activists and journalists who were trying to report what was happening today were all targeted by the security forces [Ar]. Ahmed Abd El-Fatah, who is a journalist, photographer and blogger was shot in the eye too.

Journalist Nora Younis reports:

@NoraYounis: Both @AhmedFatah and @MaLek now undergoing right eye surgery @ same hospital after getting shot by police #Pigs #NoSCAF

News later emerged that he lost his eye too, however Nora later tweets:

@NoraYounis: Please don't spread unconfirmed info on @AhmedFatah . We r at hospital & doctors didn't confirm his state yet. Be responsible & pray 4 him

Blogger Mahmoud Salem also added about Malek:

@Sandmonkey: Just left the hospital, @malek will be out in another hour & half & needs ur prayers. There might still be hope.

And Dalia Ezzat adds:

@Daloosh: The more eyes we lose, the clearer our vision will become. Time up #SCAF and co. #Tahrir #Pigs

Others have also reported arrests. Sanaa Youssef tweets her own arrest [ar]:

@SanaaYoussef: اتقبض عليا
@SanaaYoussef: I have been arrested

And journalist Abanoub Emad tweets his experience covering the protests [ar]:

@abanoubemad: تم سحلي وضربي من مخبرين برعاية لواء و عميد اثناء تغطية فص اعتصام التحرير، واخدوا مني الكاميرا التابعة للمصري اليوم #Egypt #tahrir #Nov18
@abanoubemad: I was pulled on the ground and beaten up by informers, under the watch of a colonel and a brigadier when I was covering the break up of the sit-in at Tahrir. They also took away my camera which belongs to Al Masry Al Youm [newspaper]

Rehab El-Bakry tweeted regarding the Egyptian Press Syndicate report

@Rehab_Elbakry: @acarvin The press syndicate is reporting 2 journalist injured and 6 detained claiming they r targeted. #Egypt #tahrir

Finally, there sure will be debates all over the Egyptian media about the legality and the reasons for the sit-in, but Sarah tweeted that at the end of the day, there are no excuses for attacking the protesters. And the very same tweet was the last one for Malek to retweet before getting wounded.

@shmpOngO: اتفق أو اختلف مع الاعتصام واسبابه انت حر , بس حماية المتظاهرين ابسط قواعد حقوق الانسان

@shmpOngO: You can agree or disagree with the sit-in and it's reasons, it's up to you, but the protection of protesters is a basic human right.

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.


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