Egypt's State Security officers get Flickr'd

Hossam el-Hamalawy, my old friend who started blogging here and now blogs at Arabawy.org, has just put up this archive of portraits of State Security officers on his Flickr account. There must be at least 50 officers there, with multiple portraits, each identified by name. Hossam writes:

When we stormed State Security Police headquarters in Nasr City, which hosted one of Mubarak's largest torture facilities, on Saturday I found two DVDs in one of the offices, both titled "أرشيف السادة ضباط الجهاز" The Agency Officers' Archive. The DVDs included profile pictures of State Security officers, organized in folders. Each folder had the officers' name. Some however did not have the names. There were also sub folders that included pictures of those officers in social events like weddings.

I don't know what was the purpose of these two DVDs, but I sincerely thank the State Security officials who gave us this present on a golden plate. I've uploaded the profile pictures to this flickr set and added them to the Piggipedia. I urge you all to circulate them. And if you have any more information about those officers please come forward.

Each member of SS has to be brought to justice. This was an agency devoted to spying, surveillance, torture and murder. Every member of this organization from the informer all the way up to the generals should be prosecuted. SS has to be dissolved. It cannot be "restructured" like what the current PM is calling for.

Although those torturers violated our private lives on a daily basis, bugging our phones, offices, and even our bedrooms, I will respect the privacy of their families and will not publish the photos of their social events that included family members.

Just wow.

Update: Yesterday flickr pulled these pics off on the grounds that the pics were not created by Hossam. The pics will resurface, but Hossam, myself and others will cancel our Flickr Pro accounts.

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.