Frequently Asked Questions (New questions & answers added regularly)
- Who are you?
We are two admins who are working closely together: One for Arabic facebook page and site and one for the English ones.
We do not belong to any political party, opposition, groups, movements or anything of that shape. We are both volunteers who don’t know each other and who has come together after the alarming death of Khaled Said to work against the systematic daily torture in Egypt and to support torture victims. We have a number of other volunteers who are helping us out and who are doing a great job.
Everyone (those thousands) you see on our facebook Arabic and English pages are: Normal Egyptians who want to make a difference and stop torture in Egypt and their worldwide friends, supporters and sympathisers. We are all on these facebook pages doing a great job and making a difference. Without those on the facebook pages, we could not have done anything.
We receive death and torture threats so unfortunately we cannot say our names or personal details.
We are not seeking help from foreign governments. We want international supporters to join us in our struggle. The apartheid system in south Africa ended by the help of international supporters and we hope that emergency law and torture in Egypt end at the hands of Egyptians and with the support of our international friends and human rights activists.
Egypt is a great country. Egyptians always succeed if they are in the right environment. Our problem is with those who torture Egyptians. Our problem is with Emergency law that gives Egyptian Policemen impunity to torture us
- What do you want to achieve?
Our main and only goal is to end torture in Egypt. We do not have any hidden political agenda nor do we get any support from any organisation.
We have the support of thousands of individuals both Egyptians and International supporters. This is what we need: support from individuals worldwide – no one else.
We also want to show the world that Egyptians are standing up for their rights. Brave Egyptian men and women along with their brave international supporters will no longer stay quiet about torture in Egypt and Police brutality and we will expose everyone who commits or condones torture.
- What is a silent stand?
A silent stand is a peaceful way of demonstrating our objection to torture in Egypt. Participants dress in black and stand in silent and sadness on the shores and bridges all over Egypt, in mourning of the torture victims in Egypt.
To get around Egypt’s draconian emergency law that has been ruling Egypt for 3o years and which bans mass public assemblies, we have come up with this solution and implemented it few times so far. Thousands of Egyptians stood in long chains along Egypt’s seafronts in several cities spaced five metres apart. All Egyptians stood silently or quietly read their Qur’ans or Bibles. This way, we expected, we will not be breaking the emergency law that bans assemblies (of 5 people or more!), bans demonstrations, slogans, etc, etc. We will just stand silent upset wearing black clothes. Black because we are sad for what happened to our country, and to what is happening daily to our people.
Despite all of that, Egyptian police forced silent standing participants to leave their places and in some cases, attacked them and punched/kicked some of them (including female participants).
- Why are you doing a silent stand?
The silent stand is meant to grab the attention to the long legacy of torture of Egyptian citizens by Egyptian police in police stations and even on the streets. We have five main demands including Revoking the Emergency Law that has been in effect for more than 30 years in Egypt.
- Would a silent stand be successful?
The fourth silent stand since the death of Khalid Said will take place on the 23rd July. Previous stands were all successful with thousands of participants. Each stand brings more supporters and more attention to the cause. This stand will be the biggest with many supporters outside Egypt participating.
- How can I participate if I am not Egyptian and/or I don’t live in Egypt?
First thing to do is to join our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/elshaheeed.co.uk . You can participate by making a silent stand in your own city or town. Dress in black, on Friday 23rd of July, and stand silently with your friends, carrying the picture of Khalid Said and banners saying “Stop torture in Egypt”. Share photos of your stand with us on: http://www.facebook.com/elshaheeed.co.uk Or send it to the group’s mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- What other ways I can support you in?
Please visit this note our Facebook page for more ways on how to support us:http://bit.ly/axp6kB .
You can support our cause by letting the world know about torture in Egypt. Start by inviting your friends to join the group’s page on Facebook, and by participating in the coming silent stand and any future stands. Inform your friends about the situation in Egypt so the murderers know they are exposed worldwide. International support really sends a strong message to those who commit torture as they worry greatly from International condemnation.
- How bad is torture in Egypt?
Torture in Egypt has been systematic for long time. People are used to being scared of the police so no one speaks up or defend themselves. This created a culture of superiority within the police forces and resulted in more torture and insults to the citizens. The implementation of the Emergency Law 30 years ago gave policemen the right to detain any person without committing a crime, a documented proof or any legal papers which has escalated the torture problem to new levels.
- Were there any legal actions taken against the offenders in torture crimes?
Living in a country where corruption is the name of the game kept the offenders free from question. Lately court trials have been announced for few cases where policemen tortured and killed citizens, but verdicts were too lenient and did not live up to the case.
- How many political/illegal prisoners and detainees are there in the prisons of Egypt?
Egyptian lawyers and human rights groups estimate that between 5,000 and 10,000 people are currently in long-term detention without charge or trial under the emergency law. The Egyptian government does not acknowledge these numbers. Most of these prisoners usually become victims of systematic torture inside the detention facilities, to the extent that some of them literally lose their minds and become completely psychotic. These are usually dropped out on the streets.