I’ll never forget the words I read scribbled on the wall when I was first put into a cage in a Cairo courtroom, on Feb. 26, 2012: “If defending justice is a crime, then long live criminality.”
That was the first day of my trial, Case No. 173/2011. (In Egyptian courtrooms, defendants are kept in cages.) Along with 42 other defendants, 17 of them Americans, who worked for international nongovernmental organizations in Egypt, I was charged with operating an organization without a license (not true) and receiving illegal foreign funds (also not true). All of us worked for organizations promoting the rule of law, transparency and democracy.… Seguir leyendo »
On Friday, Egyptians were startled to hear an announcement from a hitherto unknown terrorist group calling itself “Ansar al-Islam.” The group proudly claimed responsibility for a devastating attack on security forces that took place two weeks ago in the desert west of Cairo. Sixteen policemen were killed.
Although little was known about the group that committed the attack or the actual number of Egyptian lives lost, one detail was clear. The Egyptian government had suffered an embarrassing defeat.
The attack was followed by an equally unprecedented reshuffle at the top of the security forces. Last weekend came the sacking of Mahmoud Hegazy, the armed forces chief of staff.… Seguir leyendo »