Mona Eltahawy Assaulted in Cairo

Here’s Mona Eltahawy discussing being physically and sexually assaulted by the Cairo police yesterday:

My right hand is so swollen I can’t close it.

5 or 6 surrounded me, groped and prodded my breasts, grabbed my genital area and I lost count how many hands tried to get into my trousers.

They are dogs and their bosses are dogs. Fuck the Egyptian police.

Yes sexual assault. I’m so used to saying harassment but those fuckings assaulted me.

The past 12 hrs were painful and surreal but I know I got off much much easier than so many other Egyptians.

God knows what wuld’ve happened if I wasn’t dual citizen (tho they brought up detained US students) & that I wrote/appeared various media.

The whole time I was thinking about article I would write; just you fuckers wait.

She asks what would have been her fate if she did not have US citizenship,

‘God knows what wuld’ve happened.’

I think we know the answer to that already. And this:

On the first day, we had multiple gun shot wounds as well as gassings; one young man was dead by the time the hospital gurney came. As far as I know he was killed by multipled wounds from rubber bullets. Another young man had an entry and exit wound from a bullet in his ankle which I don’t think could have been a rubber bullet. The small metal pellets in rubber bullets (or bean bag rounds) don’t tend to lodge in the flesh, but they can do. Sometimes they can be removed with forceps but sometimes the doctors have to cut in to get them out. Most of those cases are taken to hospital.

There have been a few fractures and head wounds. One young woman, who may have had a history of psychiatric illness, who knows, was catatonic when brought in and then came to and screamed and thrashed, smacking her head against a wall so badly she needed several stitches, which was only possible after she’d been given IV sedation.

Many of the staff are traumatised, weeping in corners or losing control and screaming and shouting. A lot of the younger doctors and medical students have had no experience at all to help them cope with what they are facing. We don’t have much of a problem with supplies: stuff runs short but people are donating everywhere. Even if they cannot come to the square they are giving money and aid. We are fed and watered in the mosque; volunteers, sometimes the staff themselves, circulate with snacks and drinks and there is an on-going cleaning and clearing effort.

The mood in the square is dangerous. People are angry in a different way, me included: all that was given and sacrificed, including so many young lives, seems to have been for nothing, and that is just not bearable. I cannot imagine how and where it will end. Yet all over Cairo life continues as if nothing is happening.

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