Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Coerced False Confessions: The Case of Palestinian Children

Psychiatric Expert Opinion
By Graciela Carmon, M.D.
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and PHR-Israel Board Member

Originally posted by the Physicians for Human Rights-Israel at http://www.phr.org.il/default.asp?PageID=116&ItemID=1323

The purpose of this expert opinion is to address psychological and social factors that affect children and adolescents who are in custody and undergoing police interrogation. Three main questions are raised: What is the effect of police or Israeli army or other security agentsinterrogation methods on the behavior and mental state of the child or adolescent who is detained and under interrogation? What are the emotional and social consequences for the child or adolescent, and his or her family, following a traumatic interrogation experience? What are the psychological, developmental and social factors that increase the vulnerability of children and adolescents may lead to coerced false confessions?
Interrogations in general are stressful situations for every person who undergoes them, but certain interrogation conditions and methods may lead to violation of the suspect’s free will, disruption of his or her mental balance, and therefore to coerced confessions.

Every person in detention and under interrogation, but especially a child or adolescent, may give a false confession despite his or her innocence, in order to escape from the situation, and particularly in the following circumstances: emotional and/or physical stress, threats, mental and/or physical torture, cruel treatment, humiliation, physical and/or mental exhaustion, sleep deprivation, prolonged questioning for many hours, leading questioning, and the use deceptive and manipulative techniques (e.g. polygraph tests, providing false investigation results, fingerprints, blood, and presenting false witnesses). I would like to particularly note that severe interrogating methods such as isolation may lead to irreversible mental damage, from behavioral changes to a loss of touch with reality (a psychotic state).
Following the application of such methods, the detainee feels helpless and out of control of the situation. This state of mind may lead the detainee to surrender totally to the will of the interrogators, yield to their requests and provide a confession according to their demands, a confession that will free the detainee from the interrogation.
Although some detainees understand that providing a confession, despite their innocence, will have negative repercussions in the future, they nevertheless confess, as the immediate mental and/or physical anguish they feel override the future implications, whatever they may be.

The groups most vulnerable to these methods of interrogation, which have a high likelihood of providing a false confession under coercion, are children and adolescents, drug addicts and/or alcoholics, and people with mental illness or mental retardation.

The psychological, developmental and social factors that increase the vulnerability of children and adolescents and that may lead to false confessions under coercion
· Children and adolescents have a lesser ability to endure pain and emotional and/or physical stress than adults.
· In terms of psycho-biological development, the younger a child or adolescent is, the less he or she is capable of taking responsibility for his or her actions, and of analyzing complex and shifting situations. In addition, the younger the child, the more dependent he or she is. Children are incapable of objectively analyzing their actions and cannot distinguish between what they did and what they say they did.
· Neuro-psychological research indicates that there are differences in maturity between a child or adolescent and an adult. Among other things, the disparity in maturity levels is apparent in the decision-making process, which is influenced by cognitive and psychological factors, together with the ability to analyze and comprehend different situations. These factors affect the ability of the child or adolescent to understand his or her legal rights and comprehend the legal process that he or she is undergoing. Many studies have shown that even in cases where children and adolescents were read their rights, they did not fully understand them or their implications. The cognitive processes of adolescents are more mature and advanced than those of children, but still do not reach maturity level of adults; therefore, adolescents also have difficulty in understanding their legal rights and the legal procedure.
· Children and adolescents are more vulnerable than adults to psychological methods of interrogation. They might confess to crimes or offenses that they did not commit out of impulsiveness, fear or resignation, rather than out of a free and rational choice.
· Children and adolescents are more vulnerable to methods of leading questions in an interrogation. They are more vulnerable to deception and manipulation than adults, due to their relatively short life experience, and because of their tendency to believe in the totality of authority figures, such as teachers, religious leaders, parents, doctors, and police officers. Statements such as, “I thought, because they promised me, that if I tell them things they would send me home,”[1] or, “No one told me that policemen are allowed to lie,”[2] illustrate the extent of the vulnerability of children to these methods. Since in their normative lives, children and adolescents attend establishments that are managed by mature authority figures, their natural tendency is to respond to the wishes and authority of adults. Under stress, for example in an interrogation, they lack the ability, and even the option, to object to requests or coercion by adults.

· Children and adolescents are less future-oriented than adults. They take greater account of short-term than long-term consequences.
Conditions of detention and interrogation for Palestinian children and adolescents
• Detention without warning and/or a previous summons.
• Forceful entry into the house of the child or adolescent in the middle of the night, often without a warrant, by a large number of soldiers with drawn weapons who threaten the child or adolescent and his or her family. Sometimes the soldiers wear black uniforms and their faces are covered with masks or camouflaged with makeup. The soldiers search the house, awaken its occupants, and drag the child or adolescent out of bed.
• During the arrest, the soldiers employ violence against the children or adolescents who are being detained and/or their families. Many children and adolescents complain about the use of violence during the jeep ride to the interrogation facility or the wait at the military base.
• The child or adolescent is placed in a jeep waiting outside, and from there is driven to a military base. There he or she is forced to wait for hours, handcuffed and often blindfolded, without food or water, and deprived of access to the toilet or a place to sleep.
• Parents are not given the details of where the child or adolescent has been taken.
• The detention and interrogation are undertaken in the absence of the parents.
• The interrogation of the child or adolescent is performed by a number of regular police investigators, and not by certified youth investigators.
• The child or adolescent is sometimes prevented from seeing an attorney during the first few days of the interrogation.
• The child or adolescent is held in isolation and deprived of sleep for many hours.

The consequences of the aforementioned interrogation and detention conditions for the mental well-being of Palestinian children and adolescents
In traumatic conditions of interrogation and detention, like those described above, children and adolescents lose control of the situation and become particularly vulnerable, lacking internal emotional resources and external ones drawn from adult figures. Without these resources, they feel helpless and unprotected. Their vulnerability prevents children and adolescents from acting in crisis situations. They thus become apathetic and indifferent, lose their trust in adults, suffer from episodes of extreme anxiety, experience learning difficulties, and suffer from sleeping problems and nightmares. In addition, they may display severe behavioral disorders, such as aggression, over-dependence, avoidance, difficulty in returning to a routine, isolationist tendencies, and weeping. This is in addition to physical disorders, including eating disorders and bedwetting.

Moreover, following the extreme humiliation and the physical and emotional stress the children and adolescents endure throughout the interrogation, they experience a profound loss of self-esteem, leading to harm to their sense of dignity and identity.

I also want to emphasize the negative effects of the interrogation of children and adolescents on the family structure, since the family is left in a state of disintegration and helplessness. The adults in the family do not feel that they can provide adequate support to the children and adolescents, as they were unable to prevent their arrest and the hardships of their interrogation. The entire family structure is disrupted as a result of the undermining of the adults as a source of support and authority.

The violent arrest process and psychological interrogation methods mentioned above lead to the breaking of the ability of the child or adolescent to withstand the interrogation, while flagrantly violating his or her rights. These interrogation methods, when applied to children and adolescents, are equivalent to torture. These methods deeply undermine the dignity and personality of the child or adolescent, and inflict pain and severe mental suffering. Uncertainty and helplessness are situations that can too easily lead a child or adolescent to provide the requested confession, out of impulsivity, fear or submission. It is a decision that is far from free and rational choice.

P. 2763/09[3]: The fact that the investigation of the appellant was conducted at 4 o’clock in the morning, immediately following his arrest, raises some difficult questions. Indeed, the law does not prohibit such an action. Previous rulings have already acknowledged the possibility that a late-night interrogation may impair the discretion of the interrogated individual... There is no doubt that these concerns grow stronger when the suspect is only a 15-year-old minor, who was only dubiously aware of his rights. It is simple to imagine what the state of mind of a child arrested in the middle of the night by soldiers, and immediately brought to a police interrogation may be... In light of the importance of these issues, and their strong influence on the protection of the rights of the detainee, which are basic, fundamental rights... it is appropriate, in my opinion, that the need to provide operative directives to the Israeli Police should be examined, if such directives do not already exist.

The social and emotional consequences of the use of the aforementioned methods of detention and interrogation by the investigating and/or detaining authority for the life of the child or adolescent are difficult to remedy and damaging . They can cause serious mental suffering to a child or adolescent and cause psychological and psychiatric problem, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychosomatic diseases, fits of anger, difficulties in learning and concentration, memory problems, fears and anxieties, sleep disorders, eating disorders, regressive symptoms, and bedwetting. Such outcomes are devastating to the normative development of the child or adolescent, especially when he or she is innocent.

These detention and interrogation methods ultimately create a system that breaks down, exhausts and permeates the personality of the child or adolescent and robs him or her of hope. These methods are particularly harmful to children and adolescents who live in poor, isolated populations, in a state of conflict, political tension, and/or severe social stress, such as the occupied Palestinian population. The harmful effects on children can also harm the society to which they belong.

Every child has the right to be a child, to his or her dignity, and to protection from all forms of violence.

· Protocols from court proceedings in cases involving children: File no. 5327/09 – Court proceeding from 21 April 2010, File no. 3599/9 – Court proceeding from 7 December 2009. File no. 3599/9 – Court proceeding from 4 January 2010. Minor arguments in case no. 1367/11 before the Hon. Judge Rivlin, from 22 February 2011.
· Alayarian, Aida, MD, “Children, torture and psychological consequences,” Clinical Knowledge, vol. 19, no. 2, 2009, pp. 145-156.
· Conti, Richard P., “The psychology of false confessions,” The Journal of Credibility Assessment and Witness Psychology, vol. 2, no. 1, 1999, pp. 14-36. Defense for Children International – Palestine Section,Detention Bulletin, February 2011.
· Defense for Children International – Palestine Section, In their own words: A report on the situation facing Palestinian children detained in occupied East Jerusalem, 3 February 2011.
· Defense for Children International – Palestine Section, In their own words: A report on the situation facing Palestinian children detained in the Israeli military court system, 29 January 2011.
· Montgomery, Edith, M.Sc, Psychological effects of torture on adults, children and family relationships, 1991.
· Reyes, Heman, “The worst scars are in the mind: Psychological torture,” International Review of the Red Cross, vol. 89, no. 857, September 2007, pp. 591-617.
· Scott-Hayward, Christine S., “Explaining juvenile false confessions: adolescent development and police interrogations,” Law and Psychology Review, vol. 31, Spring 2007, pp. 35-76.

[1] Christine S. Scott-Hayward, “Explaining juvenile false confessions: Adolescent development and police interrogations,” Law and Psychology Review, vol. 31, Spring 2007, p. 68.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Petition No. West Bank (2763/09) A"A against Military Prosecution, 8/16/09

~ reposted by Sofia Smith

Stone Cold Justice | Israel’s Detention & Torture of Children – policies

Several countries, led by Britain, are turning up the heat on Israel over the treatment of Palestinian children…
Palestinian child being tortured by Israelis
Palestinian child being tortured in Israeli custody.
(MELBOURNE, Aust.) – Forward This is a story that is not new to advocates and activists for Palestine, but despite all the efforts by Australian lawyer Gerard Horton during his five years at Defence for Children, International, to bring the shocking details of violations against children in Israeli prisons out into the open, the mainstream media has kept a stony silence. That is, until Saturday when senior journalist John Lyons from The Australian – not known for its sympathy to the varied and sustained human rights abuses endured by Palestinians – wrote a piece exposing the truth on Palestinian children in Israeli prisons. It is always difficult to read about how any criminal justice system treats prisoners, especially these days of punitive excesses, but Israel’s contempt for the rights of child prisoners particularly, leaves one despairing of humanity and the law. John Lyons has certainly taken the first step into making this awful reality public and we hope to see much more of such honest reporting. -
Sonja Karkar, Editor - http://australiansforpalestine.com
You hear them before you see them. The first clue that a new group of children is approaching is a shuffle of shoes and a clinking of handcuffs and shackles. The door to the courtroom bursts open – four boys, all shackled, stare into the room. Four boys looking bewildered. They wear brown prison overalls and they trail into the room where their fate is to be decided by a female Israeli army officer/judge, who is sitting at the bench, waiting. The look on the face of one of the boys changes to elation when he sees his mother at the back of the court. He blows her a kiss. But his mother begins crying and this upsets the boy. He begins crying too.

Child arrested by Israeli soldiers in East Jerusalem

Today, groups of children in threes and fours shuffle in; some cases last only 60 seconds, just long enough for the child to plead guilty and hear their sentence. Sitting in a room 50m away, more children wait. Despite their confessions, many insist that they did not throw stones or molotov cocktails, and the human rights group Defence for Children International estimates that about a third who pass through the system have either been shown or signed documentation in Hebrew – a language they cannot understand.

We’re sitting in an Israeli military court which is attached to the Ofer prison in the West Bank, 25 minutes from Jerusalem. Mondays and Tuesdays are “children’s days”. Hundreds of Palestinian children from the age of 12 are brought here each year to be tried under Israeli military law for a range of offences. The majority are accused of throwing stones and, as the court has close to a 100 per cent conviction rate, almost all will be imprisoned for anything from two weeks to 10 months. Some will end up in adult jails.
Inside the courtroom, the army’s public relations unit wants the IDF guide to sit next to me to explain each case. I’m told I can quote him as “my guide” but not name him and we are allowed to photograph some of the older children but not the younger ones. Nor will they allow us to photograph children handcuffed and shackled trying to walk – “absolutely not,” my guide says. The army obviously realises that such a photo would be enormously damaging. After September 11 I’d seen images of alleged terrorists walking like this but I’d never seen children treated this way. It’s not surprising that Israel doesn’t want this image out there – it would look uncomfortably like a Guantanamo Bay for kids.
Several countries, led by Britain, are turning up the heat on Israel over the treatment of Palestinian children – not only the manner of their arrest and interrogation but also the conditions in which they’re kept in custody. MP Sandra Osbornehttp://sandraosborne.weebly.com/palestinian-children.html, part of a British delegation that recently visited the military court, said of the visit: “For the children we saw that morning, the only thing that mattered was to see their families, perhaps for the first time in months … A whole generation is criminalised through this process.”
Into this world has walked Gerard Horton an Australian lawyer.http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2011/s3343068.htm Horton was a Sydney barrister for about eight years and his practice included contract disputes, building insurance cases and employment matters. In 2006, while studying for a masters in international law, he volunteered for three months for an organisation that represented Palestinian prisoners in the West Bank. He has worked there ever since.
During his five years at Defence for Children International http://www.dci-palestine.org/Horton says the office has increased its evidence-gathering capacity and will only pursue credible allegations based on sworn affidavits. He takes me through the arrest process: “Once bound and blindfolded, the child will be led to a waiting military vehicle and in about one-third of cases will be thrown on the metal floor for transfer to an interrogation centre.
“Sometimes the children are kept on the floor face down with the soldiers putting their boots on the back of their necks, and the children are handcuffed, sometimes with plastic handcuffs which cut into their wrists. Many children arrive at the interrogation centres bruised and battered, sleep-deprived and scared.” The whole idea, he says, is to get a confession as quickly as possible.
DCI has documented three cases where children were given electric shocks by a hand-held device and Horton claims there is one interrogator working in the settlement Gush Etzion “who specialises in threatening children with rape”. Some cases contain horrifying allegations, such as this one from Ahmad, 15 http://www.dci-palestine.org/documents/voices-occupation-ahmad-f-detention documented by DCI, who was taken from his home at 2am, blindfolded and accused of throwing stones. “I managed to see the dog from under my blindfold,” he says. “They brought the dog’s food and put it on my head. I think it was a piece of bread, and the dog had to eat it off my head. His saliva started drooling all over my head and that freaked me out. I was so scared my body started shaking … they saw me shaking and started laughing … Then they put another piece of bread on my trousers near my genitals, so I tried to move away but he started barking. I was terrified.”
Israel is under pressure to at least allow filming of interrogations. “We want interrogations of children audiovisually recorded,” says Horton. “This would not only provide some protection to the children but would also protect Israeli interrogators from any false allegations of wrongdoing.”
Australian diplomats have shown no obvious interest in the military courts despite our Ambassador to Israel, Andrea Faulkner, being told about the treatment of children a year ago. She refused to comment on the situation for this story. Says Horton: “It is disappointing that of all the diplomatic missions in the region, Australia has been conspicuously silent on the issue of the military courts.”
Horton says the military courts function as a system of control: “The army has to ensure that the 500,000 Jewish settlers who live in occupied territory go about their daily business without interruption from 2.5 million Palestinians… it is no coincidence that most children who are arrested live close to a settlement or a road used by settlers or the army.”
He says it’s an effective system; quite often the children emerge scared and broken. But there is little recourse. From 2001 to 2010, 645 complaints were made against Israeli interrogators; not one resulted in a criminal investigation. “Sometimes if there is a group of children who throw stones and the settlers or soldiers are not clear exactly who has thrown them, the army can go into a village at two or three in the morning and five or 10 kids get roughed up and it scares the hell out of the whole village,” says Horton. He adds that when the army arrests children they usually don’t say why or where they are taking them.
Former Israeli soldiers have formed Breaking the Silencehttp://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/, a group that has gathered more than 700 testimonies about abuses they committed or witnessed. Former Israeli army commander Yehuda Shaul says the army sets out “to make Palestinians have a feeling of being chased”. “The Palestinian guy is arrested and released,” Shaul says. “He has no idea why he was arrested and why he was released so quickly. The rest of the village wonders whether he was released because he is a collaborator.”
Fadia Saleh, who runs 11 rehabilitation centres in the West Bank dealing with the effects of detention, says: “Usually the children isolate themselves, they become very angry for the simplest reasons, they have nightmares. They have lost trust in others. They don’t have friends any more because they think their friends will betray them. There is also a stigma about them – other children and parents say, ‘Be careful being seen with him, or the Israeli soldiers will target you too.’”

A Brief History of Field Hospitals in Tahrir Square

Sunday 27 November 2011
Originally found at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) Blog at http://eipr.org/en/blog/post/2011/11/27/1295
Statement no. 84 by the Supreme Council of Military Forces on 24 November announced the establishment of a military field hospital in Tahrir Square to provide medical assistance to protesters wounded as a result of state-induced violence. The step, which was both too late and unwelcomed by Tahrir protesters, came five days into the deadly attacks on protestors that left dozens killed and thousands wounded by central security and military forces.

Since Saturday, 19 November, more than 12 makeshift hospitals have been established in the square and floods of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals have swarmed in to offer their services. The swiftness and efficiency with which the hospitals are established and managed bears little resemblance to the make-shift hospitals characteristic of the initial uprising in January. Nine months of experience that followed the beginning of the revolution has made hard-core emergency medics out of young doctors. Alongside the field stations of the Arab Medical Union's Relief Committee and the Egyptian Red Crescent were those of the much fresher Tahrir Doctors, an organization established a few months ago in response to the growing need for disaster and emergency medicine.

The confident and organized doctors that I met in Tahrir this past week are the same overwhelmed, uncertain ones I met ten months ago while investigating the health system’s response to injuries incurred by the revolution. It is as if the episode of 25 January was a pilot test for disaster medicine in Egypt and to the principle of medical neutrality, which was violated both from the within and without the medical sphere. Medical neutrality ensures the protection of medical personnel, facilities and the impartial treatment of the sick and the wounded. Back in January and February, doctors at public and private hospitals were coerced into handing over or reporting injured protesters to state security personnel – some doctors even volunteered. State security ordered and threatened doctors against treating protesters, and security forces directly interfered with access to hospitals. Ambulances were scarce and often refused to take in injured protesters, and are even reported to have carried weapons and ammunition into protest areas. Hospitals were overwhelmed with more injured people than they could deal with. Dusty disaster management guidelines, where they existed, were dug out of broken drawers.

In the midst of all this, it was the young doctors' performance that struck me the most. The first ones to show up at emergency wards, not in answer to any official calls, were the younger doctors and interns who went to the hospitals on the mere intuition that massive protests would mean massive casualties. Crippled by lack of experience, proper guidance and resources, they managed to give an outstanding performance in the face of extensive challenges. While many cases went unreported in the first few days, doctors later found ways to preserve evidence and document injuries in whatever way they could, knowing that someone must be accountable for them. The security threats and lack of confidence in state-owned health facilities also meant that injured protesters were more reluctant to go to hospitals – hence the creation of makeshift hospitals in Tahrir.

Makeshift field hospitals have come a long way since then. Doctors can now be seen setting up medical stations around Tahrir before any major protest or sit-in. More than 12 filed hospitals were established in Tahrir since 19 November. There is no scarcity of medical personnel and donated medical supplies are in abundance. The evolution of makeshift hospitals was also coupled with a shift in the understanding of medical neutrality. Months ago I met with doctors who proudly reported they had "captured" a thug or reported a suspicious-looking patient. Today, doctors at the field hospital in Tahrir are crossing over to the other side of the battle in response to news of injured security officers, even if it means risking their own safety. On Sunday, field doctors rescued an intruder from the hands of angry protesters and managed to get him out of Tahrir in an ambulance. Ambulances which had once denied medical help to protesters are now seen traversing the man-made rescue passage that clears the way for the dead and the wounded out of Mohamed Mahmoud Street, a major scene of recent violence. The doctors once reluctant to give testimonies or have their names mentioned are now coming forward with first-hand accounts of the atrocities they witness and experience.

The rise of an organized movement of professional medical personnel who are performing their ethical duty of alleviating suffering with diligence has not gone unnoticed by perpetrators of violence. It is a sad affair that security forces, too, have shifted the way they target protesters by hitting where it hurts the most: targeting field hospitals where the injured are taken for swift medical intervention. Since 19 November, there have been numerous accounts of targeted attacks on field hospitals by tear-gas, making it exceedingly difficult for doctors to perform their duty. A number of doctors were recently arrested on duty and at least one was killed after being asphyxiated by tear-gas. Medical supplies are confiscated by military officers and field hospital tents were burned down during a Tahrir raid on Sunday. It is no surprise, then, that news of a military field hospital was faced with so much skepticism.

Irrespective of whether the attacks on medical neutrality were deliberate, they must be seriously investigated. “I don’t know which is more tragic, the intentional targeting of medical facilities or the accidental nature of these attacks,” said Dr. Mahmoud Farrag, one of the field doctors I met. "Even if the attacks were out of carelessness, someone must be held accountable."

- Published at Al-Masry Al-Youm.

~ reposted by Sofia Smith

Monday, November 28, 2011

@MagButter recounting his detention & abuse by CSF

  1. In the coming tweets I'll tell u a brief of how I was detained and beaten up.
  2. I was w/ @monaeltahawy at Mohamed Mahmoud st, while the police is heavily shooting, a couple of persons in civilian clothes surrounded us...
  3. ..they pushed us aside 2 a nearby alley (bon appetite) claiming it's a better refuge, while they pushed us, 1 of them groped @monaeltahawy..
  4. ..@monaeltahawy slapped him & tried to beat him, while the other defended him, I tried to pull mona's arm & run from the shooting but..
  5. ..but they didnt let her ago & I heard her shouting "my phone, u animal," and in less than 10 seconds, csf surrounded us & pulled us apart..
  6. ..I didn't see @monaeltahawy since then. 5 soldiers surrounded me, beat me with batons all over my body w/ extra dose for my head, and...
  7. ..dragged me along M.Mahmoud st, 2 beating me with batons, 1 kicking me, 1 fingering my ass, 1 checking my pockets, till the end of the st..
  8. ..also kicking my balls. Then they handed me 2 a police officer, who also gave me a couple of punches. He dragged me along while I'm ...
  9. ..I'm screaming, bleeding like a fountain of blood. He asked me "where r u from", I answered "Alex"..he "no, u r not Egyptian, u r a spy"..
  10. ..Me "u can see my ID"..He "I dont see IDs u cant speak Arabic well" Me "my mouth/lips r severely beaten, I cant speak at all not only AR"..
  11. ..then he handed me to 2 solders, also kicked me in the chest. I saw many army offices, & cried for their help but they seemed happy..
  12. ..happy w/ my blood. 1 man in a civilian clothes came out of a crowd & stopped us, asked "what's going on here?".."they beat me up.."..
  13. ..He asked "where r u from?" Me.."Alex"..He.."Take him"..then they sent me to a kiosk where they put another 28 detainees among them a Dr..
  14. ..we were there past 2am, they collected everything we have & told us we will be released at 10am. I asked for medical help but, no answer..
  15. ..at 8am, we were sent in the same car back to M.Mahmoud st. & set us free. but they didn't give us the stuff they took at the prison..
  16. ..while we r walking from the car to the protesters on the other side of the street, army soldiers greeted us calling us "heroes" !! and I..
  17. ..I met the same man in civilian clothes whom I saw the night b4. I asked "why u didn't help me?" "I don't recognize u" he smiled..
  18. ..I told him what happened, he apologized & hugged me. I asked about my phone as I need to call my family, He "I don't know who took it"..
  19. ..Me "How come u dont, I can recognize last night officer who was responsible of what happened" He "I don't know who were the soldiers"..
  20. ..Me "How come u dont know ur soldiers?" He "Come back later I'll find u ur phone" Me "I wont come later, I need to contact my family now"..
  21. ..he gave me his phone & offered 2 dial my family but I insisted on having mine. then I asked "who r u?" He "I'm major general Maher "..
  22. ..Me "police or army?", "police" Me "How can I reach u?" He "Here is my phone number ****, now u need to go" with a big smile on his face..
  23. ..I left, we didn't get our stuff back, they threw them among protester to claim that the protesters stole them and disappeared...
  24. ..I went to the field hospital, I got 5 stitches in my forehead, 3 beside my eye, and lots of bruises all over my body & endless chest pain.
  25. Worst thing, they beat me b4 they accuse me of anything. no interrogation, no accusations, nothing! the only question was "where r u from?"
  26. As @MagButter points out, we were entrapped by bastard plain clothes security/thugs
  27. I can't go to #tahrir or #Smouha in the coming weeks, I beg everyone who's reading this to head there instead of me because u might be next.
  28. U r free to copy, compile, republish, blog, or print my tweets regarding what happened to me last week.

    ~ reposted by Sofia Smith