Let’s assume you are looking for facts regarding the level of freedom and human rights in Egypt. Especially after the ouster of that president you disliked and endorsed his removal, of course because he was “a big threat to democracy”! So you switch on your PC, and start searching: “Egypt hunger strike”, … click.
What kinds of headlines do you expect to get from the “independent mainstream media” except all unbiased coverage and professional reportage? How about those famous “Human rights” organizations which you have no doubt about their integrity? … Unbiased reports with facts of course, regardless of the activists’ affiliation, you might think! Wait a minute. This is the big lie they want you to believe as this article demonstrates.
We will run a small experiment. Searching Google for news and web results on the term “Egypt hunger strike” in the interval between 26/12/2013 and 2/2/2014, which is a period that has witnessed several such incidents. Were it all reported equally? Let’s see.
What you get
Reports about journalists in Egyptian prisons, especially Mr Abdullah Elshamy who embarked on hunger strike and was so lucky to grab the attention of Mr Robert Mackey of the NYT. Mr Elshamy’s story of course deserves to be reported by everyone, on the DNE, the Guardian, Democracy Now and a list too long to mention here. Not to mention the UN Human Rights office of course.
Not only journalists were able to grab the attention of the “free world” by their empty stomachs but also “revolutionary icons” (as the media loves to call them). The well known April 6 Movement activists Ahmed Maher, Mohammed Adel, and Ahmed Douma. Their hunger strike was very much noticeable by the mainstream media, scoring a good number of news reports detailing their story.
Others such as AlArabiya will also speak about “hunger strikes”, but only in the way that matches the foreign policy of the Saudis.
Keep digging. Aren’t there any “other” news about detained activists embarking on hunger strike? Seems so! Unless the above mentioned organizations are not reporting it. In fact there are.
What you don’t get
What you don’t get from the above agencies are reports about the 24 detained ladies who also chose to take the same path of their counterparts above, i.e., embark on a hunger strike. They thought that the “free world” will spend at least a single article investigating their cases. Reporting on their struggle. After all, these organizations are all about “human rights” and so. They were wrong.
What about them? Their names, accusations, type of treatment, and so on. We obtained some of their details from an Al-Azhar University Students group. The obtained list is in Arabic, and we are working on its translation and will be publishing its summary in English when done for those who are sincere about wanting to know.
Now that we have seen the difference, from dozens of articles by the mainstream media and human rights organizations on “the suffering revolution-icons”, to a number of zero articles on the “other” revolutionary ladies.
Why do you think is that?