Egypt: Remembering Khaled Said for a World Without Torture
The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)has recently released a 15 minute film titled World Without Torture that focuses not only on the importance of preventing torture, but also the importance of documenting it and providing rehabilitation for torture survivors.
The film features the case of Khaled Said. His death at the hands of state police – and the attempt to cover it up through the official autopsy report – sparked massive protests in Egyptin the run-up to the revolution that led to the toppling of Hosni Mubarak’s oppressive regime.
Global Voices has followed the Egyptian people's reactions and their search for justice in Khaled Said's case. From the musings of the murder and reactions to the first allegations against Said, to the birth of the website in his honor. One year after Khaled Said's death, bloggers remembered him as one of the reasons for the revolution. It took more than a year for his trial to reach the courts. After delays, the two secret service policemen who beat him to death were sentenced to 7 years in prison, and netizens made their displeasure with the veredict quite clear.
What the death of this young man managed to do for Egypt was much more than raise awareness on torture and its victims: he became the face of the revolution, a figure with whom Egyptians could identify. The We Are All Khaled Said website has declared itself to be “Against torture in Egypt and inhuman treatment of Egyptians in their own country” and it has been following up on other cases of torture by the Egyptian police forces. This next video is of a song titled Too Scared to say it Loudly, edited, uploaded and subtitled in English by We are All Khaled Said and focuses on the importance of changing society and making torture stop.
Khaled Said was posthumously awarded the Human Rights Award 2011 in Berlin on September 19th and his sister, Zahraa Said Kassem received the award in his place. His face can be seen in countless graffitti around Egypt as a symbol of the revolution, so to honor him in Berlin, author Don Kar in collaboration with The Dudes Factory (Freedom Park) & Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation decided to paint his face on a piece of the Berlin Wall:
“They broke down the Berlin Wall for freedom and unity. Kahled Said got killed for the same reason, for freedom and democracy. Khaled would be very happy if he was with us today. We will not forget you Khaled and we will bring your rights back. And we will bring every Egyptian's right back. We are all Khaled Said!” Zahraa Said Kassem
Following is a video documenting the painting of the mural, and the background music is a rap by Khaled Said himself:
Written by Juliana Rincón Parra