He thought that it could never happen where he lived… Imagine being arrested for simply carrying a copy of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. For years – his whole life really – this would have never been imaginable.
Then, in December 2010, the “Arab Spring” began… Things were going to change for the better. That’s what everyone believed.
The Egyptian leader – or dictator (depending on who you ask) – Hosni Mubarak, was dislodged from his seat of power by a popular revolution. New elections were held and the Muslim Brotherhood was voted in, much to the dismay of Western powers. Say what you will about the Muslim Brotherhood – or Ikhwan” – but they were popularly elected. No one disputes that.
Not long after the Ikhwan got into power, Western nations decided to back a military coup by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and his forces. Sisi has been the official president of Egypt since June of this year. He “won” the rigged election with 96.9% after already having seized power by force.
It all happened that quickly. But in reality, it could have happened just about as quickly anywhere in the world. Just like those in the West might not believe it could happen there, no one in Egypt believed a few years ago that one day a college student could be arrested for simply having a copy of a novel.
Now, Egypt is a place where students cannot carry a copy of a novel without being subject to arrest. It is perhaps the cruelest of ironies that one of the verboten books is George Orwell’s classic literary political fiction.
A student going by the name of Mohammed “T” was recently arrested by security services, in front of the main gate of Cairo University for carrying this book, which strongly critiques corruption and dictatorial military regimes.
Major General Mahmoud Farouk, the chief Giza investigator, confirmed that the arrest was made Sunday. Farouk explained that Mohammed was also in possession of “two cell phones without batteries, as well as two USB drives and a hard disk, as well as the book.”
We have requested more information on the arrest and the aftermath, as well as what specific crime Mohammed is being charged with under the new Egyptian laws. We have been assured that a representative of the New Egyptian government will contact us with more information, but after several days, we have heard no updates on the status of the young man who is apparently a “thought criminal.”
(Article by M.A. Hussein; image by Counter Current News)