A fascinating piece on Khaled Said

Amro Ali speaks of demythologizing Khaled Said in Jaddaliya:

Khaled has been distorted almost beyond recognition. To understand the extent of this, based on interviews from friends, associates and my familiarity and understanding of the district, I attempt to provide a descriptive account of his life up until that fateful night in June 2010. The facts of his life are contrasted with his mythologization and the polarizing effects of both. His death was not just indicative of the corrupt and brutal police state; Khaled’s life was symptomatic of the widespread despair that continues to plague Egypt’s youth and that manifests in a plethora of symptoms from drug abuse to the strong desire to emigrate. The reconstruction of Khaled Saeed perpetuates self-defeating myths that, by elevating him into a figure with saint–like qualities, minimizes and simplifies the dynamics of his life that led up to his death.

It's the most detailed account of Khaled's life I have yet come across. 

The meaning of Khaled Said

Soha Abdelhaty of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (one of the most dynamic Egyptian NGOs around) has a good piece framing the Khaled Said murder in context of Egypt's emergency law over at FP's Middle East Channel

The Khaled Said case has offered a graphic demonstration of the emptiness of the pledge by the government of Egypt when it renewed the country's decades-long period of emergency 'aw that it would limit its application to terrorism and drug-related crimes. Khaled Said's brutal murder is a chilling reminder of what emergency law -- and Interior Ministry impunity -- means for Egyptians. Frustration with that impunity is what leads protesters to take to the streets.

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The murder of Khaled Said

Egypt is abuzz with outrage after the death of Khaled Said, allegedly at the hands of the police. Here is a brief backgrounder:

“On Sunday, Khaled was at cyber café at around 11:30 in the evening. Two policemen asked him for money and when he said he didn’t have, they beat him,” Muhammad Abdel Aziz, lawyer with el-Nadeem, told al-Masry al-Youm. “As he was beaten up, his head hit a marble table and he started bleeding.”

According to Abdel Aziz, the policemen took Said out of the cyber café and continued to beat him. “He screamed at them saying ‘I am dying, leave me’, and he fell on the floor.” Abdel Aziz added that witnesses saw a yellow liquid coming out of Said’s mouth when he fell on the floor, after which there was bleeding. A pharmacist and a medic passing by confirmed he was shortly dead after they checked his tension.

Witnesses said a police car picked Said up. His family was later contacted and told he is in the morgue of Kom el-Dekka, to which they were denied access. At the prosecutor’s office, security told Said’s mother and brother that he swallowed a bag of drugs and that there were witnesses to the incident who confirmed seeing the bag. Ahmad Badawy, an activist in Alexandria with al-Ghad Party went on 11 June to the cyber café where the incident happened and said witnesses told him the drugs bag belonged to the two policemen who beat him up as he was shooting a video of them while making a deal.

The video refered to is here: Mohamed Abdelfattah مُحَمَّد عَبْدالفَتَّاحْ: Khaled was 'assassinated' because of this video

Further confirmation of his beating by the café owner: The Associated Press: Egypt cafe owner describes police beating death

CAIRO — The owner of an Egyptian Internet cafe says he witnessed police beating a young man to death and described the killing that has outraged rights activists.

Hassan Mosbah, in a filmed interview posted online Sunday, says two police officers came into his cafe in the city of Alexandria, dragged Khaled Said out into the street and beat him to death there. Pictures of Said's shattered face appeared on social networking sites after his death on June 6.

More details:
The most damning evidence is the picture of Khaled Said's face taken at the morgue, which shows clear signs of skull and jaw fracture (warning - graphic):
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