You are in > Opinions
Torture in Egypt
A year ago, I had the privilege of meeting Noha Atef at the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism in Mexico. She is a talented young woman from Egypt.
I was sitting next to her one evening at supper. We had a speaker, but I don’t remember who the person was or what was said. What I do remember was I noticed that Noha was crying. When supper was finished, we spoke for a few moments.
I was speaking to an incredible woman who loved her native Egypt and worried about her responsibilities to the people in her country. The next day she spoke to all of the participants at the School. That day I was one of those who had tears in my eyes also.
Noha had started a website, Torture in Egypt. For that, she and her family had suffered. Respecting her privacy and her right to tell her own story, I will not write more about her and her experiences in Egypt.
Hopefully, you will be able to access her website soon, although I suspect the Egyptian government has interfered with it. Currently, I am unable to gain access. When you do, keep in mind that this website—about torture in Egypt—had its origins years ago. At the School of Authentic Journalism, Noha, together with other students, produced a video worth watching .
It is also important to remember that the Egyptian government, responsible for this torturing, has had the full backing and friendship of the United States. Additionally, there is another dimension that should be noted about torture in Egypt. The U.S. used Egypt for their rendition program, handing over prisoners to countries where torture is allowed. Common Dreams had an interesting article on this topic recently.
One has to wonder where torture fits in the scheme of “American ideals.” I have been watching CNN for several hours each day. I have not heard the rendition program mentioned once. It seems a key player in all of this was Omar Suleiman, a friend of the U.S. government and the man who former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak chose to be his vice-president.
In spite of the opinion of the CNN commentator, I don’t think there was ever a balancing act in U.S. foreign policy toward Egypt--between American ideals and economic interests. I wonder if there ever really is—in relation to any other country anywhere in the world.
by Charles Hardy ©
Charles Hardy is author of Cowboy in Caracas: A North American’s Memoir of Venezuela’s Democratic Revolution, published by Curbstone Press. Other essays by Hardy can be found on his personal blog Cowboyincaracas.com. You may write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.