Friday, February 18, 2011

The revolution's human costs

Egypt's Health Ministry reported today, Thursday, February 17,  that the preliminary civilian death count for the 18 day revolution is at 365.  This number does not include police and prisoners who were killed.  If you'd like to read the article in the Egyptian Gazette about this, here is the link:

I heard a short interview with a police officer on AlJazeer news today discussing how some of those deaths happened.  Here's the link if you'd like to hear this two minute interview:

During the recent  police officer protests in Cairo, many officers have complained about the former Minister of the Interior, Habib El-Adly.   One Egyptian newspaper interviewed a police officer who reported that “Habib El-Adly is the one who gave us orders to fire live bullets on protesters, if we refused to do that, we would’ve been shot,” ..... “You can’t disobey official orders.”  Here's the link to that newspaper article:

I read one article (see link below) that said that Habib El-Adly gave police officers the order to leave their posts and go home so the protesters could experience anarchy.    When the police disappeared from the streets for a couple days in the middle of the 18 days of protest, looting began.  
The Associated Press reported Habib El-Adly was arrested today and charged with corruption. 

Though the civilian death count is certainly tragic, one news article I read yesterday showed that it might have been even higher had it not been for a critical decision by military soldiers.  An article I read from Daily News Egypt discussed this report from a journalist named Fisk:

"Fisk also claimed that on Jan. 30 -- the day a military fighter jet flew quite low over the protesters in Tahrir Square-- Mubarak gave an order to the armed forces to attack the protesters  in the square.  According to Fisk, military tank commanders in the area received the oder and then got on the phones to their immediate supervisors and/or fathers who had also served int he military for advice.  All said to disobey the order and not fire on the Egyptian people."

It is pretty amazing that a revolution happened without the military firing a single shot at the protesters.

On a different topic, below is an interview I did with a young woman who was part of the Tahrir protests from the start.  She first learned about the protests from a Facebook page.  
This video is available at this link:

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