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Mona Eltahawy Survives Egypt’s Interior Ministry

The US journalist has survived a terrible encounter with Egypt’s interior ministry. Tweeting from Cairo’s turbulent Tahrir Square, she was arrested and abused but finally released.

What’s the Latest Development?

The prominent American-Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy has been released from government custody as Egypt’s post-Mubarak transition is showing further signs of strain. Protesters are gathering once again in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, expressing angst over who will lead the new government. A series of military arrests landed many innocent people in police custody, some of whom were journalists and bloggers. Eltahawy communicated by Twitter before being arrested: Pitch black, only flashing ambulance lights and air thick with gas.

What’s the Big Idea?

After hours of silence, another Tweet: Beaten arrested in interior ministry. Almost immediately, #freemona became a virtual center for concern and support that trended around the world. Since her release, and visit to the hospital to care for a broken wrist and arm, she has spoken about being sexually assaulted in the ministry. The even is another testament to social media’s power to publicize injustice immediately and garner a wide audience against it. What is the relationship between gestural politics, expressing concern and taking action?


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