ACTION ALERT: Protest Assault on US Peace Activist in Egypt
March 9, 2014
Where was the US Embassy? Impeding the travels of peaceful US citizens, subjecting them to unwarranted detention, brutal physical attacks and expulsion are not the hallmarks of a civilized government. Apologies are in order.
'I Was Brutally Attacked'
Just the other day I hopped on a plane to Egypt, eager to join the international delegation of 100 women headed to Gaza for International Women’s Day. Little did I know I would be stopped at the Cairo airport, detained, held overnight in a cell, then in the morning brutally assaulted by Egyptian authorities. They threw me to the ground, stomped on my back, handcuffed me so tightly they dislocated my shoulder, and then deported me to Turkey.
Now the Egyptian authorities are blocking most of the remaining delegates from entering Egypt and traveling to Gaza. It has been frustrating and disappointing for us, but we cannot forget that almost two million Palestinians remained trapped in Gaza while the Egyptian Rafah border remains closed or tightly controlled.
What happened to me was traumatizing, but is minor compared to what Egyptian activists are going through, including women. Thousands of peaceful Egyptian demonstrators have been killed or jailed by the Military Junta since the July 2013 military coup.
Here’s how you can take action:
Call the Egyptian Embassy now (202-895-5400), demand an apology, ask them to allow the remaining delegates to go to Gaza, open of the Rafah border, and end the brutal crackdown on journalists and Egyptian activists.
Send this letter to the Egyptian government with our demands.
Despite frantic calls to the US Embassy during my 17-hour ordeal, they NEVER even got in touch with me. It is appalling that not only did the US government fail to intervene when an American citizen was being beaten, but that our government continues to send billions of US taxpayer dollars in military aid to the illegitimate and abusive Egyptian government.
Sign this petition to Egypt Desk at the State Department, then call them (202-647-4680). Demand to know why they did not assist a peaceful US citizen who was being abused by the Egyptian authorities, and let them know you want an immediate end to US military aid to Egypt.
Thanks for all you do for peace and justice,
Medea Benjamin is Co-founder of CODEPINK
Egypt: Open the Rafah Border to Gaza
And Stop Attacking Peaceful Protesters!
ACTION: Send a message to the Egyptian Ambassador to the US demanding the peace delegation be allowed to cross into Gaza, that the Rafah border be opened. Demand justice for detained and abused peaceful protesters in Egypt, and an apology issued to Medea Benjamin!
His Excellency Ambassador M.M. Tawfik
Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United States of America
Open the Rafah Border to Gaza and Stop Attacking Peaceful Protesters!
Dear Ambassador Tawfik
When peace activist Medea Benjamin landed at the Cairo airport in Egypt on her way to join an international delegation of women going to Gaza, authorities from your government detained her for hours, handcuffed her, dislocated her shoulder, then violently deported her to Turkey. A few hours later, Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead MaGuire was also deported from the Cairo airport with no explanation.
Now your colleagues are blocking most of the remaining delegates from entering Egypt and traveling to Gaza.
The peace delegation planned to converge in Egypt after your government suggested to organizers that they would be able to cross the border into Gaza, where almost 2 million people are suffering in the world’s largest open-air prison. It is appalling that not only is there a brutal Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip, but an Egyptian one as well. The people of Gaza need to be able to travel through the Rafah border.
We call on you to end your government's brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters and journalists, which violate their human rights and exposes the brutal dictatorship of Egypt.
US State Department:
Protect US Citizens and End US Aid to Egypt!
Sign this petition to the State Department. Demand to know why they did not assist a peaceful US citizen who was being abused by the Egyptian authorities, and let them know you want an immediate end to US aid to Egypt!
Dear US State Department,
When American peace activist Medea Benjamin landed at the Cairo airport in Egypt on her way to join an international delegation of women going to Gaza, Egyptian authorities detained her for hours, put her in a cell overnight, and in the morning handcuffed her, dislocated her shoulder, then violently deported her to Turkey.
Throughout the 17-hour ordeal she didn’t hear from the US Embassy once, yet the Embassy claims it "provided appropriate consular services" -- which is not true. We, the undersigned, demand an explanation as to why the State Department did not help a peaceful US citizen who was being physically abused by the Egyptian authorities. What steps are being taken to ensure that this doesn't happen to another US citizen?
As Americans, we are deeply concerned about the billions of US taxpayer dollars toward aid for Egypt. Thousands of peaceful Egyptian demonstrators have been killed and jailed by the Military Junta since the July 2013 military coup. With our tax dollars, we are now propping up both the Israeli and Egyptian blockades of Gaza, where almost 2 million people are trapped and suffering from an extreme lack of basic necessities. Our taxpayer dollars could be much better spent at home in the US, instead of funding violent military regimes abroad.
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