6 June 2012

Egypt: Khaled Saeed, Victim of Police Brutality Turned to Revolution Icon

Today, June 6, marks the second anniversary of the death of Alexandrian 28-year-old Khaled Saeed who was tortured to death by Egypt's police, sparking a wave of angry protests that led to the toppling of Mubarak's 30-year old rule.

Several movements and political forces have called for the participation in the commemoration of the iconic martyr through marches and mourning stands in Cairo and Alexandria.

Marches in Cairo will take off from Istagama Mosque in Giza, Mostafa Mahmoud in Mohandseen and Rabaa Al-Adaweya in Nasr City to head to Qasr Al-Nile Corniche, reported Al-Ahram. In Alexandria, protesters will move from Saeed's residence in Cleopatra to Alexandria's Corniche, and in Minya, pro-revolution youth movements, April 6 and Askar Kazeboon, organized a silence stand along Minya's Corniche.

Ex-presidential contender Hamdeen Sabahi announced that he will participate in commemorating Saeed in his hometown in Alexandria.

Saeed was tortured to death on June 6, 2010 at Seedi Gaber police station in Alexandria. The 28-year-old was transferred to a hospital, only to be announced dead hours later.

The story of Saeed along with a horrifying photograph of his disfigured face, resulting from the severe torture, circulated fast on social networking website, sparking rage against the regime's police brutality.

On June 10, 2010 the page "We Are All Khaled Saeed" was launched on Facebook to raise awareness on the case. The page attracted more than a million followers and later played an active role in calling for the January 25 protest - the first of a series of protests that would eventually end Mubarak's autocratic rule.

In January of last year, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in angry protests all over the country, chanting "bread, freedom, social justice". The mass protests that proceeded for 18 days resulted in the death of more than 800 civilians in confrontations with security forces.

"We Are All Khaled Saeed" continued to play an active role during and after Mubarak's ouster, including promoting portraits of new martyrs such as Emad Effat and Alaa Abdel Hady (Cabinet clashes), Mina Danial (Maspero) and Mostafa Al-Sawy (Angry Friday).

"What happened in Tahrir on January 25's anniversary was not a celebration - it was the natural continuation of the revolutionary path and an attempt to fulfill the rest of the revolution's demands", Saeed's mother told Aswat Masriya on the first anniversary of the revolution.

She added, "Martyrs are the ones who awakened this revolution... their spirits are flying over the square... they are revolting and God will give us victory for them... we want their rights, not more".

Meanwhile, "We are All Khaled Saeed" posted a photograph of the first protest following Saeed's death with the caption "We were freed from an era where staying out of trouble was chivalrous... we abandoned an era that is impossible to return to... no going back... we are all Khaled Saeed".

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