Released activist says detention gave him motivation

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By Heba Afify

CAIRO: Political activist Mohamed Shawky, who was released last Sunday, said his detention has only motivated him to work more.

“I am happy that I was taken and that I lived this experience,” Shawky told the April 6 Youth Movement conference late Monday. “If I was charged 20 percent before, I am now charged 100 percent,” he added.

Shawky, a member of the movement, vowed to continue his activism.
He was released on a LE 2,000 bail on Sunday after a judge ordered his release last Thursday.

Shawky was arrested on Dec.5 and was accused of throwing rocks at police forces and vandalizing public property during the elections runoffs that day in Al-Basateen neighborhood.

According to Shawky, the police arrested random people on the streets after the attacks by Al-Basateen residents had stopped.

He said he was in an internet café, uploading videos of the clashes, when police forces “abducted” him.

“There were 100 people in the deportation vehicle, almost none of them was involved in the attacks,” Shawky said.

Shawky said the police checked the national ID cards of the suspects and released the ones that were not from Al-Basateen. Even though Shawky is from Al-Mansoura, he said an officer recognized him and ordered his arrest with the rest.

“The officer said bring me the April 6 [activist] and put him with the detainees,” he said.

Shawky said that he was subject to severe beatings and insults by the police at the scene and inside the police station. The police took all his belongings including a camera and a flash memory, he added.

“If the accused is innocent until proven guilty, why did I get insulted and beaten?” asked Shawky, “When someone attacks me, I go to the police. I don’t know what to do when the police are the one attacking me.”

Members of the April 6 Movement had started a sit-in in front of the general prosecution office on Dec. 21, calling for Shawky’s release.


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