GAZA DISSIDENT PRISONER SEEN AS DEFIANT SYMBOL OF THE PEACE-SEEKING INTERNET-SAVVY ARAB YOUTH
Seeking the support of Egypt’s revolutionary young activists Mohamed Abu Muailek’s brother has made a powerful plea for the Gaza dissident’s release.
On a visit to Cairo’s Tahrir (Liberation) Square Yasser Abu Muailek portrayed his imprisoned younger brother, 26, as a symbol of the computer-savvy youth of the Arab Awakening sweeping the Middle East and North Africa.
As the second anniversary of his younger brother’s detention loomed, Abu Muailek had travelled to Egypt to launch a concerted effort for solidarity from the Youth of Tahrir Square. He met several of them and briefed them on Mohamed’s plight.
Just after dawn on Tuesday April 5 2011 a young photographer who had been deeply involved in the protests that toppled Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 showed Yasser Abu Muailek around the now world-famous square.
It was there that massive crowds had staged demonstrations in the turbulent month leading up to the resignation of Mubarak on February 11 2011 and the military takeover – and where many peaceful protesters had been killed and injured.
Yasser Abu Muailek stated: ”It’s so emotional to be here, knowing that Egyptians managed to liberate themselves – just as I hope we will be able, with that same energy, to liberate my brother. And who knows? We may eventually see liberation from the iron grip of dictatorships and repressive regimes around the region.”
He pointed out that, while at first convinced it was right to fire rockets at civilians, Mohamed Abu Muailek had later broken out of the cycle of inward-looking hate and violence inside Gaza through what became his lifeline: the Internet. This lifeline could though, Yasser noted, lead to Mohamed’s death.
The Gaza dissident has been imprisoned for two years while his trial has dragged on in a ‘military court’ — where the odds of a not-guilty verdict are heavily stacked against anyone accused of ‘spying’.
Amnesty International has called for a full investigation into “extremely serious” claims that he has been tortured, and has demanded that the alleged torturers themselves be brought to trial.