Toxic tear gas clouds near the tax office on Mohamed Mahmoud Street in central Cairo during demonstrations against the perceived complicity of security forces in the killing of al Ahly supporters at the Port Said stadium on 1 February 2012.
The next day I was arrested while taking photographs and charged with stone throwing, assaulting the police and attempting with others to seize control of the Ministry of the Interior. I was only one of many arrested on that day and falsely charged. I did receive some rough treatment during and after my arrest but nothing like as bad as that met out to Egyptian protesters.
Because the Ministry of Interior didn’t want to risk being discovered fabricating charges they instructed state security officials to assume the identity of civilians. My lawyer didn’t state this in court and he didn’t even tell me this in so many words as he didn’t have sufficient proof but, according to what I have been told, he made a careful statement which exposed what the truth was.
"You might find it surprising your honour to learn that in my client’s case he was arrested by someone claiming to be a civilian and yet all the witnesses to his supposed crimes are police officers. However you will find it even more bizarre to learn that I have read the papers relating to all thirty (it may have been 32) defendants here today and in every case, without exception, each was arrested by a person claiming to be a civilian and yet all their witnesses were police officers."
There was another interesting point in the accusation against me which relates to the photograph above. The building in the background (above left) is the tax office which had been badly burned two days earlier. Despite this the prosecution witness in the government case against me claimed that he was a tax official who was "standing by his place of work."
He also said I had an old head wound when arrested although my hotel receptionist who saw me leave two hours earlier told the investigating magistrate that I had no such wound. It came of course from the beating I received from the police who arrested me.
The police reports for the prosecution were a farce. In one I had been arrested by myself and in another arrested with a group of people. In one the witness was standing almost next to me while in another he was standing a considerable distance away.
Check out my own two minute video review of the facts of the current human rights crisis in Egypt ( as of April 2016 ) on the following link
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