Forgot to provide a link to a TV piece I did for VOA last month on how political turmoil and violence in Egypt was affecting the mental health of ordinary Egyptians. You can find the spot on YouTube here.
For 39 days he was held in detention after he had been arrested during a demonstration against Egypt’s new military rulers. He was released last week
But his parents’ were horrified to learn their son said he not only was regularly and viciously beaten during the first few days of his incarceration, but he said he also was sexually assaulted during interrogations.
“They made me and other 10 young men who had been arrested to strip naked when we arrived at Cairo’s Abdeen Police Station; they blindfolded the boys with their own underwear and there were a lot of beatings,” said Fadhy Samir Zakher. “The police used sticks and their fists, and they also kicked the detainees repeatedly.” Return my full VOA report here.
“Of all the world leaders out there today, el-Sisi is perhaps the most like the Russian leader, at least if you take into account their personal beginnings and their respective rises through the ranks of power. And these commonalities could give the West some crucial hints about how el-Sisi—who is expected to declare his presidential bid any day now—might run a post-Arab Spring Egypt, one that has already shown a willingness to engage in warmer relations with Moscow.”
Full article here at the Daily Beast.
How many Egyptians will turn out for the referendum remains unclear and the army is nervous about the outcome, judging by the flood of endorsements on both the country’s state-run and privately-held television and radio stations for a constitution that will entrench military power in the country’s politics. The referendum process has earned criticism from foreign watchdogs and NGOs with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington DC-based think tank, describing it as “flawed and undemocratic.”
Several Western democracy and governance groups that normally observe controversial elections have held back from sending teams to monitor this one, either because they fear their staff could be endangered or that the very act of monitoring will been as them legitimizing the referendum.
This from my report this morning for the Daily Beast.