Shocking video shows Egyptian police van running into crowd of protesters

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, February 3, 2011 13:31 EDT
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A video broadcast by Al Jazeera Thursday apparently showed an Egyptian police van charging into a crowd of peaceful protesters.

Egypt’s police have largely vanished as a visible presence in Cairo since protesters took over Tahrir Square, but many have accused them of simply going underground and working to lead pro-Mubarak mobs in attacking peaceful gatherings.

Starting on January 25, Egyptians have been clashing with police in a series of dramatic flare-ups that resulted in President Mubarak announcing his intent to retire at the end of his term in September.

Members of the police force were also behind attempts at looting Cairo’s invaluable museum, according to Human Rights Watch.

Police identification cards were also found on other looters around Cairo and Egypt. Bouckaert implied that police forces may have been responsible for the escape of thousands of prisoners, describing it as “unexplainable.”

“The locals say the only people with weapons are police who’ve taken off their uniforms and are responsible for most of the looting and crime,” Human Rights Watch deputy director for Middle East and North Africa Division Joe Stork wrote from Suez Sunday.

“Mubarak’s mantra to his own people was that he was the guarantor of the nation’s stability,” Bouckaert said. “It would make sense that he would want to send the message that without him, there is no safety.”

US diplomatic cables published by secrets outlet WikiLeaks showed that Egypt’s police are an infamous and feared organization.

In one leaked cable, an Egyptian human rights activist, whose name was redacted by WikiLeaks, said the US government’s number one human rights priority in Egypt should be urging the government of Egypt to combat the use of torture by its police force.

Although Article 42 of Egypt’s constitution prohibits the infliction of “physical or moral harm” upon persons who have been arrested or detained, the human rights activist told US diplomats that police torture was pervasive. He blamed the Interior Ministry of Egypt for putting pressure on officers to extract confessions “by any means necessary.”

During murder investigations police regularly round up 40 to 50 suspects from a neighborhood and hang them by their arms until they obtain a confession from someone, according to the cable.

Another leaked cable notes that “credible human rights lawyers believe police brutality continues to be a pervasive, daily occurrence in [Egyptian] detention centers, and that [the State Security Investigative Service] has adapted to increased media and blogger focus on police brutality by hiding the abuse and pressuring victims not to bring cases.”

The video below is provided with little context due to the chaotic nature of events transpiring. It is unclear when and where this took place, and a translation was not immediately available.

It would appear to be an example of the callous and indeed cruel treatment Egyptian protesters are subject to in their campaign of resistance against Mubarak.

This video was published to YouTube on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011. Warning: Graphic violence.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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  • Johnny Warbucks

    Dude, you’re spamming!

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Wow! Double shame on you! First, for you ignorant post and most importantly for misusing the picture of an Native that way.

    Your government has been supporting the Mubarak dictatorship for 30 years to the tune of a reported 1.5 BILLION dollars per years plus weapons. All of this is so that he can play nice with Israel while repressing his own people. In fact, one of the most repugnant scenes from the first day of violence, when the regime thugs openly assaulted the demonstrators (and there have been many repugnant things to come out of those days of violence) was the fact that the bullet that killed innocent civilians as well as the cans of deadly gas fired against peaceful protesters were proudly made in the US and bore the label for all to see. If that isn’t your government fault – and yours for being so ignorant and condoning such policies and behavior – then I don’t know what is.

    Now, if I were you, I’d go back under whatever rock it is that you’ve been hiding for the past 30 years and lose the Avatar. It’s incredibly offensive.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Supported and financed. Don’t forget financed.

  • realnewz

    Also, because this is nothing new.
    CIAgent provocateurs love to turn peaceful protests into riots for obvious reasons.
    The people just want equality and peace.
    Its the govt that wants inequality and war.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I wonder if old Hosni actually wonders to himself the way Dubya did “Gosh…why are these people so angry at me? I’ve done nothing but work tirelessly for their well being and this is the thanks I get?”

  • surgethis

    On my god .. that is horrendous …. total disregard for human life.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UM75UT6SBQFK2O6OFTHZMZIGTM Corey Sittig

    Their ability to coordinate and sustain this has been truly beautiful and inspiring to watch.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UM75UT6SBQFK2O6OFTHZMZIGTM Corey Sittig

    “I always secretly looked forward to nothing going as planned. That way, I wasn’t limited by my imagination. That way, anything can, and always did, happen.”
    — Crimethinc

  • http://twitter.com/oldivory OLD IVORY

    I’m sick of every freakin’ world leader now pointing fingers about the instability. If so&so hade not done this and so&s0 not done that . ‘He’ did not secure international ties. ‘She’ failed to back ‘His’ regime. While all these nit wits from the USA and clear around the globe point at one another about who messed up their game of chess……..the people are the ones who have, are and will suffer. I do not give a rat’s ass about the Suez canal at this point. Americans, Egyptians and a host of other common people around the world have no jobs, food or homes. What the hell do we care about the Leaders’ correct ‘moves’ and ‘positions’. Every lame and sick global/poli analysis lays claim to pin pointing who made the wrong decisions. Ha!. Who cares? None of these leaders have been or are suffering. Israel’s pissed. Who cares? Obama’s pissed. Who cares? And now leaders are angry enough to accuse the USA of treating them like the “51st” state; well, that was all fine and dandy when they were lining their pockets with money doled out to by those sitting in comfort in banks and the USA DC chambers of perverse legislation. Oh, and it’s a two way street. With a global economy, ha!, we have the likes of Xe head Prince absconding to Dubai, this is a great example, with fists full over AMerican $$ before the shit hits the fan as in Egypt. Prince is tactical artist. So are bankers. But the heads of governments are not. They are idiots playing games with you and I. Spit on my grave.

  • Anonymous

    You know TPTB are working tirelessly on that “little problem” right now don’t you? Soon you won’t know ANYTHING that isn’t part of the “agenda” once the internet is tamed. Persons who try posting anything like this will be named “terrorists” and placed in “indefinite detention.” And once there’s not enough space to warehouse the dissidents they’ll fire up the ovens.

  • antiM

    this one was bad too:

    Diplomatic car runs over 20 people in cairo (28th-Jan-2011)
    http://youtu.be/_cWOK0Lfh7w #Jan25

    youtube has “viewer discretion”… but if you click it, it will still play.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WEAPT7CBGVXZE6PI5TQJ4ONNPM ndasilva28

    “their” ability to coordinate and sustain this has lasted for aeons at the cost of billions of lifes in death and suffering… beautiful is the last word i would use.

  • http://theelvesattic.blogspot.com JOHN SCOTT RIDGWAY

    The Revolution breaking out in the Middle East have done something no speech, or Arab character on Lost, could have ever achieved — they brought the sympathies of the West to Muslims in the Middle East. No matter how this ends, the cliche’ of the crazed Arab with a bomb that saturates the MSM will hopefully be destroyed. I have been working with a progressive, liberal, Egyptian writer for months, publicizing his case, after he was tortured and jailed, and was trying to get Asylum to the states. Before this experience, I was ignorant of how vibrant the Democratic movement is in the Middle East, and I am sure I am not alone. I had a hard time getting other reporters interested in helping Zedan Hussein, until this revolutionary action started — my buddy at the NYT was suddenly all interested in a story he had been ignoring for months. Better late than never. Thank you for the great article.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5Z4JRNXBCO4ZYSUY3WGC3S554I nathan
  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3NVQSZZC5IM66JEOCSFJUV7FCE Jacques G

    They showed an even more ruthless white sedan incident described as a “diplomatic vehicle” running over more protestors, some being directly run over the vehicle passing directly over the top of several protesters.