Egypt’s politically iconic Tahrir Square came into international attention last week when a man named Ahmed Mohy was arrested after staging a one-man protest.
Holding a small placard reading, “ Step down Sisi,” Mohy stood in the square that played a major role in the 2011 Egyptian uprising that led to the overthrow the 40 year regime of President Hosni Mubarak.
An unidentified man took a photo of Mohy which quickly spread on social media. Soon after the protester and the photographer were picked up by police.
“I am in the police car, and they are trying to take my phone. They arrested another guy with me. I was alone, this guy was not with me; he was just using a camera to get a photo, and there is no crime,” said Mohy on a self-shot video from the back of the police car.
His arrest garnered attention around the country with a prominent Egyptian lawyer Gamal Eid saying that Mohy was detained within minutes of starting his protest despite not committing any crime.
In a tweet as seen below, the lawyer said, “This man stood alone in Tahrir Square holding up a paper that read ‘Step down Sisi’. Within minutes he was arrested and disappeared. He did not commit any crimes, what he did was in the field of freedom of expression. The law of protest, despite its injustice, says 10 or more people constitute a protest. This person is a prisoner of conscience.”
“We are going to the police station. I didn’t do anything, just raised a signal … I am asking the world, save our soul. We are going somewhere and don’t know what will happen to us, maybe they will inject us, maybe they will kill us, maybe they will burn us or bury us or do anything,” Mohy was heard saying.
“Now I am appealing to all the human beings all over the world, I am facing an unknown destiny … the simplest right of a human being to express what he’s feeling is now kidnapped from us,” he added.
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the president of Egypt took over power in 2013 and since then he has been prosecuting activists and anybody who opposes his government.