Kareem Emad Farid’s testimony
I was sitting around in peace and quiet when I learned that thugs had attacked a march headed towards Maspero; I then learned that there was gunfire at Maspero and decided that I would go and see what was happening.
I reached the Qasr al Nil Bridge and headed towards Maspero when I ran into a journalist whose camera had been broken and had himself been wounded in his leg; the residents were putting him in a taxi. Everyone was running and saying ‘don’t go over there, there’s gunfire’ and I saw smoke and heard the gunfire even before I arrived.
I walked a bit until I reached the [former headquarters of the] National Democratic Party and there I found a dead body on the ground and a severed, mutilated head. People were in a state of breakdown and everyone was crying. I learned that an armored personnel carrier had run over him. I covered the martyr in an Egyptian flag and people wanted to carry him and take the body to [Tahrir] square, but they ultimately decided they would wait for the ambulance out of respect for the dead.
I looked ahead and saw army soldiers under the bridge throwing rocks at people who were standing around; at the time these people were not throwing anything, they were all gathered around the martyrs. From the top of the 6th of October bridge, soldiers were throwing stones on people standing below and also on a group standing at the top of the bridge.
I continued and neared the soldiers; the sound of gunfire started again but this time they were rubber bullets. I was wounded, as well as more than one person around me, and in one case a round hit someone in the head but, thank God, he was only hurt as the shot came from far away –I was standing inside the bus stop at Abdel Moneim Riyad.
We gathered and there were clashes with army soldiers on the bridge and in front of the Ramses Hilton. We ran after them as far as Maspero and found more than five cars ablaze, one APC and a large number of damaged cars. The army had placed a car to block the street so that no one could pass. As soon as we got there there was a fire engine that had already been damaged and people finished the job.
Throughout this there wasn’t a single clash. Suddenly rock throwing began again in addition to tear gas and random gunfire, people retreated to behind Abdel Moneim Riyad and the groups scattered. I saw one elderly man on the ground unable to breathe, and people tried to resuscitate him but we weren’t able to. All at once I found people shouting ‘he’s died!’. I couldn’t get close to him. I sat down and after this I went back to the group that was assembled in front of the Ramses Hilton; there I found army, central security and thugs all throwing rocks together and [firing] tear gas.
This situation continued back and forth as did the tear gas and [people] fainting; no ambulances arrived. People moved towards Tahrir] square and stopped under the Bridge. The army, CSF and thugs pursued us but we stood up to them. An anti-riot water cannon arrived, speeding through people, and was able to escape. A second one came and— as God is my witness–the protestors began attacking it and its windows were broken; the driver ran into a motorcycle and ran the truck onto the sidewalk. We thought that the driver of the motorcycle had died but thank God he had jumped away before being hit; of course we made sure that he was OK after the [riot control] car was wrecked.
So as we stood collecting ourselves we found that the army, CSF and thugs pursuing us with rocks and the cat and mouse game went on with them for a long time. Thank God there were no casualties. A sheikh showed up and took the hand of a Copt and they began chanting ‘Muslim, Christian, one hand!’ and started moving in a march towards Maspero beginning from under the Bridge. Just as we reached the Hilton the attacks started again as did the tear gas and rocks and people retreated to the entrance to [Tahrir] square. I got hit by a respectable number of rocks in various places until I was so exhausted I was unable to stand, so I went to Tal’at Harb to rest for a while and get something to drink before I went back.
I stayed there for near a half an hour and as I made to move there was gunfire and army soldiers were chasing people. I went after them and they ran into the Mobil gas station in front of the Boursa; they arrested the people inside and came out beating up any one standing in front of them. Everyone ran and the soldiers threw rocks at them; they ran chased us for a while and an officer said to me ‘I’m going to get you’ and turned back. As they were going back I noticed people chanting, “The army and the people are one hand”
I tried to go around and reach [Tahrir] square but I couldn’t; I ran into people I knew and left because I was finished.
1. The protestors at Maspero were Muslim and Christian and there were no sectarian chants.
2. We were attacked with shotguns, rubber bullets, tear gas, glass bottles and rocks.
3. The army, the Central Security Forces, and the thugs were all one hand.
4. The martyrs that I saw died from being run over or asphyxiation.
Here is a link that has all [my] photographs:
This is a video that clearly shows protestors being killed: