AUC graduate briefly detained by military police

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
Noor Ayman Nour, an AUC graduate, was among a number of activists briefly detained and then released by military police during a protest against military trials for civilians.

Nour told The Caravan shortly after his release that they were protesting outside a military court in Nasr City August 14 in solidarity with the families of civilians currently facing military tribunals.

"Everybody deserves a fair civilian trial," Nour said.

Asmaa Mahfouz, 26, an Egyptian activist and one of the founders of the April 6 opposition movement, is among several civilians facing military tribunal. Mahfouz has been accused of defaming the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) on her Twitter account and Facebook page, and encouraging violence against some of the SCAF members. Mahfouz was released on an EGP 20,000 bail after four hours of questioning by the military on August 14.

Earlier this week, Amnesty International called on the SCAF to drop charges against Mahfouz.

Nour says he was detained after a scuffle between activists and military police outside the Nasr City military court following a female protester's complaint that a soldier was allegedly giving her "inappropriate looks".

"I was beaten up and dragged inside the military facility, my glasses were lost and I could not see for half an hour," said Nour, adding that he two other activists were also detained.

He says that once inside the facility, the three activists were treated with decency, in contrast to the beating he received in the street.

"Under the regime of [former President Hosni] Mubarak, I [would] have never been beaten up that much," said Nour.

He said that it saddened him that after everything the Egyptians went through since January 25, "peaceful protesters are still brutally beaten up".

While some Egyptians have been against the ongoing protests, particularly in Tahrir Square, Nour, still maintains that peaceful protests have borne fruit. But he cautions that military trials for civilians remains one of the major problems Egyptians have to continue protesting against, as "now they are targeting activists."

"They have cut of all sort of communication, they are forcing us to protest, there is no other way to get our word across," Nour said.