Thursday :: May 26, 2005

After Laura Leaves Town, Mubarak Thugs Attack Pro-Democracy Demonstrators Including Women


by Steve

"I want to just tell you again how important Egypt and our relationship with Egypt is, how strong our friendship is and longstanding our friendship is, and how much we appreciate everything President Mubarak and Egypt does in promoting peace.… Women in Egypt have always been educated, they've always had a strong role to play, they've always been role models."
--Laura Bush, Tuesday in Cairo

It’s good to see the high priority that the Bush Administration places on spreading democracy in the Arab world. Why, just this past Tuesday Laura Bush said such supportive things about our great relationship with Hosni Mubarak; and the role that Egyptian women have always played in that society.

Which of course explains why our friend Hosni, after Laura left town, allowed his own goons to beat up pro-democracy protesters just yesterday, with women being specifically targeted.

Officials of President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party, or NDP, led hundreds of young men who attacked anti-government demonstrators. Journalists and witnesses at the scene of several incidents, including this correspondent, saw riot police create corridors for stick-wielding men to freely charge the demonstrators.
Women were particular targets, with at least five pulled from the mass of mostly male demonstrators on the steps of the Journalists' Syndicate in central Cairo and subjected to slaps, punches, kicks and groping. The blouses of at least two were ripped.
Some women escaped out a side exit, but a group of young men set upon Rabaab Mahdy, a political science professor at Cairo University, who had led some of the anti-Mubarak chants and who stayed behind at the entrance to the building's garage.
The men pressed Mahdy against the shields of riot police, who refused to either move or help her. The assailants slapped and punched her until she slumped to the pavement. Some of her attackers appeared as young as 20.
"They put their hands in every conceivable place. I was basically sexually abused," she said later in an interview. Mahdy escaped when plainclothes officers intervened and pushed her through the police cordon.
Associated Press reporter Sarah El Deeb reported seeing one woman trying to leave a building and being pounced upon by Mubarak loyalists, who punched her, pummeled her with batons and tore her clothes. As police looked on, she screamed, then vomited and fainted, El Deeb reported.
At another clash in Cairo, El Deeb reported seeing a group of mostly female demonstrators beaten, groped, pressed into a security cordon and verbally harassed by plainclothes security agents. El Deeb was grabbed and pulled by the hair.

And what did Condi think of all this?

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, asked about the violence in an interview with Agence France-Presse, said, "I've not seen the reports that you're talking about today."

That's our dumb as a f*cking post Condi Twin Mirrors for you. Kinda like the level of engagement she had shown in the days leading up to 9/11, the Abu Ghraib reports, the post-invasion occupation problems on her watch,....

How committed is Bush to his lofty rhetoric on supporting the spread of democracy in the Islamic world when the best response we can muster to attacks against pro-democracy demonstrators, by our own ally is a collective “shit happens”?

Steve :: 9:33 AM :: Comments (12) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!