Egyptian novelist and professor Mona Prince just sent me this personal report on her experience with the #jan25 protests. I’m reposting it here in its entirety.
a personal testimony on police brutality during protests: jan 26 2011 down town cairo—mona prince
round 6.30 pm down town cairo, i joined the demonstration on qasr el nil street along with some friends and other people whom i don’t know. the protesters were marching peacefully and politely and decently from one street to another evading the security forces who were some how at a loss at how to stop us, especially when we took to shawarbi street, we were at the back, and the police officers behind and front talking in their walki talki, we could hear them saying they don’t know how to besiege us. we kept on moving and more people were joining us from the streets and shops, young men and women. we were chanting the requests of egyptian people " leave " and " egyptian people want the regime out “. we didn’t attack any body, or destroy any shops or cars… we were moving in the middle of streets without blocking the traffic, just slowing it down until we reached sherif street and we were heading towards 26 july street, then the security forces appeared from behind and front. we started running, and security police in civilian clothes started grabbing randomly many young men and women. i saw them grab and beat a young innocent man, pushed him to the ground and kept kicking. i protested against the beating up, and kept screaming at them to stop acting like animals, 4 or 5 huge giant men grabbed me from my hair and said " well join him you bitch " and slapped me on the face , beat me up, kicked me, and cornered me next to the young man and kept hitting me on my head, arm, shoulder, back , stepping on my head with their shoes until i bled from my mouth and could not speak any more on the ground. they kept their shoes on my head, kicked me every few seconds,calling me the dirtiest names ever the they dragged me all along the street to 26 july and threw me in one of those microbuses without number plates. they have also dragged the other young man who completely fainted and others too and threw us all in the microbus. and while pushing me inside they were trying to pull off my clothes and sexually harassed me,one grabbed my breasts , another held me my waste, and another grabbed my bottom. i tried to call friends discreetly, but they saw me, so they pull me out of the car and said " get off " but 3 of them were blocking the door, and they grabbed the mobile from me, then threw me to the asphalt road. despite the pain, i will go on protesting mona prince egyptian writer and university professor cairo january 27 2011
رغم الألم سوف استمر في الاحتجاج منى برنس كاتبة مصرية و استاذة بالجامعة القاهرة ٢٧ يناير ٢٠١١