Today’s goal: Detain anyone who looks like a foreign journalist

Feb 4, 2011

Today’s governmental target seemed to be bloggers and foreign journalists or foreigners in general. Since around noon the government hired thugs were harassing and attacking foreigners and anyone who looked foreign along with a handful of Egypt’s most influential bloggers like Sandmonkey and Traveler Within.

This could have been done in an attempt to scare off outsiders’ coverage of the revolution since they have been the ones reporting on what is actually happening. Unlike the Egyptian media which has been nothing more than a propaganda machine spreading messages of false national pride and mixing it with the current regime staying in power. Not to mention the downright wrong coverage of what has been happening in Tahrir. Today two people working in government run TV channel Nile TV officially gave in their resignation saying they do not want to be part of this propaganda machine after being instructed not to cover what is happening in Tahrir on Wednesday. Watch a video CBS made of Egyptian media and this revolution here.

Along with the terror factor, the government is trying to have a media blackout to ensure that only their messages get through to the international community.

A friend of ours Clemzi, was among those detained. He’s out and safe now, after being handcuffed and blindfolded for around five hours when he was caught by thugs then handed over to the Egyptian army. He was treated relatively well (in comparison to others, mainly Egyptians, in his same position anyway).

I dedicate this short post to him. Clemzi has taken a hugely active role in this revolution from sharing tips on demonstrations, helping people during the tear gas incidents, throwing the tear gas bombs and rocks back at the police and cleaning the streets of Tahrir. His dedication to this cause, even though he has only lived in Egypt for a mere 6 months was inspiring not only me, and other friends, but people in Tahrir who were thanking him and patting him on the back.

Thank you Clemzi. I’m sorry you had to go through that.

Photo by Hossam El-Hamalawy

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