I’ve always appreciated the freedoms we have as Americans especially the freedom of speech, religion, press, etc. However, because I have grown up only knowing these freedoms, I admit sometimes I can be oblivious to the struggles of other’s around the world. After reading Article 15, Whence the Revolution, about Egyptian workers and journalists I was shocked as to how much oppression they face in their everyday lives.
According to the article, police brutality is fairly common in Egypt with many of the officers getting away with misconduct because officials will deny the attacks. However over the past couple of years bloggers like Wael Abbas have begun posting videos of police misconduct online. Even though this can be very dangerous for bloggers, Abbas has not given up his fight for the truth to be told even when times get rough. An example of this danger for bloggers is given in Article 15. The story is of an Eygptian named Khalid Said that was said to have died at an Alexandrian cafe by suffocation from a plastic bag. This was the official police story and two autoposies backed up this story according to the officials. However, people began posting witness accounts and photos on the internet saying that Khalid Said was dragged out of the cafe and beaten to death as a result of a video he had posted online. Only after thousands joined a Facebook group protesting Khalid’s death and a demonstrations broke out in Alexandria were the officered with unlawful arrest and excessive use of force. The officers were never charged with murder.
It was interesting to learn about how other countries, like Egypt face so much oppression and are severely punished when they try to share the truth. Although Egyptian journalists and bloggers have a long way to go until can enjoy the freedom we Americans enjoy in regards to speech and press, they are making significant strides in the right direction.