Omar Mohammed Ali, the random victim who was sentenced to life
By Ahmed Gamal Ziada
June 12, Cairo: “ You can imagine how miserable I am; when you know that I am praying for a 15 years sentence to my friend Omar Mohammed Ali, and not more!
What should I do when they accuse him of manufacturing bombs while he couldn’t pass mechanics class for the past four years!
They have also accused him of traveling abroad to Turkey, while he has never reached farther than Alexandria; 200 km north Cairo.
Omar Ali was arrested last year, while I was serving in military . Friends asked me not to talk about him, I was afraid and I didn’t . I was only following his case in newspapers and media. I didn’t talk about him waiting for his tragedy to end, now I think that the only thing ending is his life, and I have to talk.
After the death of Omar father couple years ago, he abandoned everything in this life. He stopped watching the news and didn’t care about what is going on in Egypt. He only cared for his pets, cats and dogs.
While he was missing ;Enforcedly disappeared; we didn’t find anything to say about him; he was not the revolutionary guy with loud cheers, he was not the guy with touching stories or heroic deeds, he was just a regular guy with no story.
He has decided to live his life day by day aimlessly, and to graduate engineering school in 10 years, for he didn’t really like to push himself. He had nothing to do with politics or any serious matter. Despite all of those facts, the state decided that he is a threat, and he should spend the next 25 years in prison.
No matter if you were practicing politics or sports , no matter if you were sane or insane; the state will find a way to put you in prison. The state won’t let us die for natural reasons; we all have to die out of rage. What should we do to survive ? “
This was an indirect quoting of one of Omar Ali’s friends, 23 years old student who was sentenced to life by the military court.
in the evening of 5/6/2015, Omar Ali was in one of the restaurants downtown Cairo, with Esraa Al-Taweel, and SohaibSaad. At the end of the last supper, police officers; with informal clothing; raided the place aiming to arrest SohaibSaad.
Police officer phoned someone carrying the good news:“ we got him sir, but we found him with a girl named Esraa Al-Taweel, and a guy named
Omar Mohammed Ali. Shall we bring them as well ?”
The three went missing and the ministry of interior ;as always; denied having them. The ministry denied having any case of enforced disappearance in the first place.
Five weeks later, the Egyptian military force released a video record entitled as “ arresting the biggest terrorist cell threatening the national security”. Omar Ali and SohaibSaad were among the defendants in the video.
In the video, Saad was messy and swollen; torture marks were all over him. He confessed that he is involved in terrorist acts, and that he got 65.000 pounds from the leader to buy a gun, and hand it to another member of the group in; a plan to assassin a policeman .
Ali appeared in the same video to announce that he have abandoned his pets, and joined a terrorist group connected somehow to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Seven defendants were with them in the video; all of which were in a list of 160 people reported missing ;enforce disappearance cases; in the time between April-June 2015, according to “ Freedom to the Braves” campaign. All of them also confessed of committing multiple crimes : setting police cars on fire, planning to assassin prominent figures, and that they have trained aboard.
The ease they confessed to such crimes, that will probably lead them to a death sentence; indicates the amount of torture they endured before they finally gave up.
Esraa Al-Taweel was separated from Saad, and Ali and was accused of different accusations in a different case. She was then released 6 months later for “health conditions” after her story went viral on media, and organizations inside and outside Egypt interacted.
A total of 28 defendants were referred to trial on this case. In 29/5/2016 the military court sentenced the defendant as the following :
Death sentence for 8 of them, 25 years ;to life; for another 12 defendants, and 15 years for the remaining 6. Only two defendants were declared innocent.
Omar Ali and SohaibSaad were among the once sentenced to life.
Omar’s story reminds us of a similar story : 25/4/2016 Cairo, a police car full of protesters was on its way to the station, when a random guy was walking in the street near the car. Suddenly a policeman pulled the passerby, and shoved him into the car! 19 days later, this passerby alongside the protesters was sentenced to 5 years.
Despite the video of this incident that went viral on the social media, the judge decided that the passerby is guilty based on … well, based on nothing!
Ali was the friend of the guy they were after, but this didn’t prevent him from having the same charges, and the same sentence. The guy they were after “SohaibSaad” was accused of multiple charges of specific acts, all of which happened while he was in prison on the pending of another case. The assistant minister of interior “Abo Bakr ” justified this fact saying : “ being in prison does not prevent him from participating in other crimes, and his membership in the terrorist group was before he was imprisoned”
Sohaib’s brother says that when they first saw him after he appeared, torture marks were all over his body; his hands were tightened behind his back, he was hanged in the ceiling and electrocuted. What happened to him was enough for anyone to admit to being in relation to 9/11 not just a terrorist group.
Ali’s sister said that he confessed of crimes he didn’t commit; after he was tortured for three days a row. Electrocution marks were all over his body, and he lost control of his right arm; after his nerves were damaged.
There was no physical evidence in this case that links the defendants to any specific terrorist acts, and the sentence was given for “the defendants intentions” to commit crimes; and not on actual crimes that they have committed.
After reading my words; supporters of the current regime, allow me to ask you the following questions:
Don’t you think that there is a division inside the current regime that doesn’t want the country to settle? And that this division is spreading chaos, and attempting to create “ terrorists” by all these extraordinary trials?
After all the reports about enforce disappearance, do you still believe that there is no enforce disappearance in Egypt ?
After all the video records of false confessions of men with torture marks all over them; do you still believe that there is no torture in prisons, and police stations? Or do you think that torture is ok, as long as it is not laid upon you? Or perhaps you think torture is essential for pulling out confessions, even if it was false ones?
Don’t you think that may be SSI investigations, and reports in general, are as random as the one they accused the passerby in it, of protesting and joining a band group?
Do you still believe that all the thousands behind bars, are Muslim brotherhood members? Even if you just read about a victim of random arrest who has been sentenced to life?Do you? Really ?!
The Oslo Times International News Network