Update: Tell US Government to press Egypt to rein in security forces
The number one request made by Egyptian activists of allies in other countries is to have their voice heard in solidarity at various Egyptian embassies and consulates.
It’s pretty hard to do when the Egyptian government has shut down the Internet in Egypt and its US embassy public email address isn’t functioning.
Protesters face police in Alexandria. Photography by : Ahmed Ramadan -- Clashes between demonstrators and Egyptian police in Alexandria, because of their opposition to the hereditary rule. They are showing their dissatisfaction with the intention of President Hosni Mubarak to hand over power to his son.
But allies around the United States are not remaining silent, and Amnesty members are looking to assist. With tens of thousands of Egyptians hitting the street across the country today on “Angry Friday,” this is an ideal moment to contact the embassy in the US to express our concerns:
1. For the Egyptian government to allow peaceful demonstrations and rein in their security forces to prevent further deaths and injuries to protestors. No official death total has been released, but the latest reports today have two women being killed when hit in the head by tear gas and another died in Tahir Square. That would bring an unofficial death toll over the past four days to over 10. In one instance, Amnesty has learned that 22-year-old Ahmed Atef was killed yesterday in North Sinai when security forces in the town of Sheikh Zuweid opened fire on a crowd of more than 1000 demonstrators.
2. Independent legal observers count the number of detained as of Thursday at around 1,200 people. Many more are being detained today. These people must have immediate access to legal counsel, family members, be formally charged or release. They must not be tortured or mistreated.
3. The government must cease all efforts to block the Internet, social media tools or impede the normal flow of communications. In addition, security forces must end reported assaults on numerous reporters, both Egyptian and foreign. Such actions constitute an outrageous violation of the freedom of speech.
4. End the State of Emergency, which facilitates other human rights abuses such as unfair trials, prolonged administrative detention and the systematic use of torture.
Demonstrations have already been held in San Francisco, New York and DC. AIUSA’s office has organized a rally outside the consulate in Chicago at noon Saturday, Jan. 29. For more information on that rally, contact [email protected] and [email protected]. Information about other rallies will be posted as information is available.
But if you don’t live near a consulate, please call and call today to the Egyptian embassy. Emails sent to its public address are bouncing back, but telephone is working. The address is 3521 International Ct. NW Washington DC 20008. Phone: 202.895.5400. Fax: 202.244.4319.
A complete list of consulates can be found here.
Finally, there is also US government work to do. We are receiving reports from Egypt that tear gas canisters and other weapons used against the protesters have been made in the United States. It is imperative that the U.S. government investigate whether any of this material has been used in a manner that would violate the Leahy Law or other regulations that prohibit the use of US aid to violate human rights.