Sandmonkey - Egyptian Blogger - Verboten!
Sandmonkey, one of Egypt's leading blogger, was one amongst many of the journalists, human right activists and bloggers who have been attacked, arrested, interrogated, beaten or chased after in the last two days in Egypt. Some have re-appeared, others are still missing.
Sandmonkey was arrested while trying to bring medical supplies to help tend the many wounded in Tahrir Square. Ambulances were prevented from entering the square and formed lines that could be seen from the buildings around the square.
He was arrested and beaten up before being released. His Blog Page has been suspended. Exactly what happened is not yet clear. But his story will be told and that of the others being held against their will too.
Sandmonkey's crime? Disagreeing with his government black on white, .. and well, yes, sometimes he agrements his texts with a picture or two.
The Press' crime? Reporting about the events, black on white with, lots of pictures. They even make films! Here is an already very outdated list compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists... It is from February 2nd.
The Human Rights' Group crime? Counting and cataloging governmental abuses on its citizens. They also use the black on white tactic. Sometimes, they go as far as making demands and organizing sit-ins or peaceful demonstrations where people march holding resumes and main point of the black on boards for all to see. Here and here are examples of the said reports. ( Please note the date ...Nov. 2010)
At this point one might be tempted to simplify and call it a "colour-problem". Dictatorial regimes do. And they do their utmost to turn their citizens' lives grey. One single and uniform shade of grey.
What is becoming clear here, is that people will not be silenced. Whatever happens, whatever the outcome of this revolution (and at this point the outcome does not seem too encouraging from either side's point of view, as a matter of fact) , a new voice and a new generation has come of age in the Middle East. It may take years and many more upheavals and detours before that voice becomes the leading voice, the voice of freedom. Nevertheless, it will take some serious revisions, political and cultural re-adjustments to be made by the West.
One of the outcomes ought to be a Revolution in the way the West sees and behaves in the Middle East. Discourses and narratives will have to be changed if it wants to keep partners in this rather important part of the world and avoid further polarization.
Hereunder is the account of the last few days, as told by Sandmonkey and posted just before he was arrested and the article together with his account was censured - picture above.
thanks to his many friends and supporters, been suspended, the text can now be found in many different places on the net (here for example). It depicts a very clear picture of the situation in Cairo and the determination of a people to fight for their basic rights.
Tomorrow, Friday Feb 4th should be a decisive day.