CAIRO: Award-winning blogger and anti-torture activist Wael Abbas created a new stir over the Eid holiday when he posted an image and audio recording depicting what he alleges could be a police officer forcing a woman to strip naked.
The image featured on Abbas’s blog misrdigital.blogspirit.com is part of a longer video clip that was recently made available to him by a man he doesn’t know who calls himself Mahmoud.
This is the first time Abbas obtains material from this source. “I do not recognize the email address, Abbas told Daily News Egypt.
In his message, Mahmoud urged Abbas to spread the video and “leave it in the hands of honorable readers, journalists, and lawyers to investigate the matter.
“This man has no right to terrorize, insult, and violate the dignity of this woman, Mahmoud wrote to Abbas.
But Abbas decided not to upload the whole video because of the nudity.
In the clip itself, which was not made available to Daily News Egypt, Abbas claims that the man verbally abuses the woman and then forces her to strip. He then slaps her twice; once before he orders her to take off her top and once afterwards.
Listeners tuning into the audio portion of the video currently available on Abbas’s YouTube account can hear a woman sobbing and pleading, but the dialogue itself is unclear.
The identities of the persons in the video remain unknown, but Abbas claims that it is possible the woman is a prostitute and the perpetrator a plainclothes police officer.
“It is very common that they ask suspects to strip when raiding brothels. It’s a practice that has been used ever since the establishment of the vice police, or the sex-police, Abbas said.
Judging from the background of the image, which was screen-captured from the video, it seems the incident took place in an apartment, not in a public office.
The new clip is the third one depicting alleged abuse and humiliation of women posted by Abbas on his widely-read blog.
Abbas told Daily News Egypt that he has not been subject to intimidation from state security because of the post, but he has been quizzed about its authenticity by several users because the full clip was not made available for public viewing.
Legal action is reportedly under way in the case. Chairman of the Cairo-based Organization for Human Rights Legal Aid Mohsen Bahnasi, told Daily News Egypt that he will present a copy of the video on CD to the public prosecutor today to demand an investigation into the incident.
“It doesn’t matter whether this man is a police officer or a civilian; he is committing a crime. This kind of behavior is against the law, said Bahnasi.
He added that the incident took place recently and that the video is new.
Abbas’s controversial new YouTube posting comes only a few weeks after the leading video-sharing site pulled the plug on Abbas and discontinued his account following alleged “user complaints due to the violent nature of his “torture clips. Approximately a week after a media storm on the subject, YouTube restored the account.
On Dec. 20, US-based news network CNN nominated Abbas as one of the people of the year in the Middle East region for his activism.