Why the Mubarak regime is hated, feared and loathed by the mass of ordinary Egyptians

Robert Tait describes 28 hours in the dark heart of Egypt’s torture machine:

The sickening, rapid click-click-clicking of the electric shock device sounded like an angry rattlesnake as it passed within inches of my face. Then came a scream of agony, followed by a pitiful whimpering from the handcuffed, blindfolded victim as the force of the shock propelled him across the floor.

A hail of vicious punches and kicks rained down on the prone bodies next to me, creating loud thumps. The torturers screamed abuse all around me. Only later were their chilling words translated to me by an Arabic-speaking colleague: “In this hotel, there are only two items on the menu for those who don’t behave – electrocution and rape.”

Cuffed and blindfolded, like my fellow detainees, I lay transfixed. My palms sweated and my heart raced. I felt myself shaking. Would it be my turn next? Or would my outsider status, conferred by holding a British passport, save me? I suspected – hoped – that it would be the latter and, thankfully, it was. But I could never be sure.

I had “disappeared”, along with countless Egyptians, inside the bowels of the Mukhabarat, President Hosni Mubarak’s vast security-intelligence apparatus and an organisation headed, until recently, by his vice-president and former intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, the man trusted to negotiate an “orderly transition” to democratic rule.

Judging by what I witnessed, that seems a forlorn hope.

I had often wondered, reading accounts of political prisoners detained and tortured in places such as junta-run Argentina of the 1970s, what it would be like to be totally at the mercy of, and dependent on, your jailer for everything – food, water, the toilet. I never dreamed I would find out. Yet here I was, cooped up in a tiny room with a group of Egyptian detainees who were being mercilessly brutalised.

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1 thought on “Why the Mubarak regime is hated, feared and loathed by the mass of ordinary Egyptians

  1. Vince J.

    The CIA came to South America and trained the military in TORTURE techniques. That was in the 60’s. They also sent South American military to the “School of the Americas” in the US to be trained on coups, torture and repression.
    When the Abu Grhaib photos emerged, I was shoked not because what they portrait. I knew that that was the true face of the USA. I was shoked how so many people were ‘shoked’ to learn for the first time that the USA does torture.
    The War Crminal Barak Obama is keeping Guantanamo and Bagrham prison as the current torture centers.
    Where is the War Crminal C. Rice? Remember her lies: “… the USA does not torture!”

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