[video link] US-based Egyptian blogger, speaker, and journalist Mona Eltahawy was released today after spending 12 hours detained by Egyptian security forces in Cairo. According to her tweets, she was arrested by riot police while observing the ongoing protests in Tahrir Square, where thousands of Egyptian citizens are calling for the military junta SCAF to be disbanded, and a representative, democratically-elected leadership to take their place.
While she was held, Mona managed to tweet from a fellow detainee's Blackberry that she had been beaten and was in prison. When she was released, Mona tweeted more details: she had been sexually and physically assaulted, and sustained a broken arm and a broken hand from beatings inside the interior ministry in Cairo, in the early hours of Thursday morning.
"The whole time I was thinking about article I would write," she writes, "Just you fuckers wait."
A number of journalists and well-known voices from Twitter have been detained in the last few days, including Egyptian-American documentary maker Jehane Noujaim, and Maged Butter, shown below (WARNING: graphic image):
More details from Mona's tweet-stream over the last few hours:
I AM FREE
12 hours with Interior Ministry bastards and military intelligence combined. Can barely type – must go xray arms after CSF pigs beat me.
A thousand thanks for all well wishes and support. Fuck #EgyPolice.
I can barely imagine what my family and loved ones were going through those 12 hours-I know they were worried about me to begin with. Sorry
Thank God a political activist in MOI with me lent me his phone to tweet. Right after my tweet his battery died
5 or 6 surrounded me, groped and prodded my breasts, grabbed my genital area and I lost count how many hands tried to get into my trousers.
They are dogs and their bosses are dogs. Fuck the Egyptian police.
Yes sexual assault. I'm so used to saying harassment but those fuckings assaulted me. #CSF
@Sarahngb is coming to kindly take me to the hospital. Besides beating me, the dogs of CSF subjected me to the worst sexual assault ever
Didn't want to go with military intelligence but one MP said either come politely or not. Those guys didn't beat or assault me.
Instead, blindfolded me for 2 hrs, after keeping me waiting for 3. At 1st answered Qs bec passport wasn't w me but then refused as civilian
Another hour later I was free with apology from military intelligence for what CSF did. Took pics of my bruises and recorded statement
On sexual assault and said would investigate it and said they had no idea why I was there. Then who does??! WTF!
The past 12 hrs were painful and surreal but I know I got off much much easier than so many other Egyptians.
God knows what wuld've happened if I wasn't dual citizen (tho they brought up detained US students) & that I wrote/appeared various media.
#Egypt must be free of those bastards
Military intelligence blindfolded me for 2 hrs. Didn't want 2 go with them but 1 said I either go politely or else. 3 hrs later,
My Cairo phone got lost during my beating so no calls there
I was arrested alone and I didnt know that @MagButter was arrested too. Glad to hear he was released as well
My left arm and right hand are broken acc to xrays
More on US involvement in her release, from the Guardian:
A US embassy representative in Cairo told the Guardian that the reports of her detention were "very concerning" and that "US embassy consulate officers are engaging Egyptian authorities".
An AP/MSNBC item on the story is here.
PHOTO: The face of bravery. Mona, having just received medical treatment after being released from prison, tweeted this photo of her casts an hour ago.
UPDATE: There are now reports of other women, possibly a female journalist from France, being stripped and sexually attacked at Tahrir.