Medea Benjamin of Codepink has tweeted that she had her arm broken by Egyptian police as she was detained while on her way to a women’s conference in Hamas-led Gaza.
Code Pink reportedly worked with the Muslim Brotherhood—declared a terrorist organization by the current government of Egypt (among many others!)—to oust former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
After spending the night of March 3 behind bars in an Egyptian prison, Ms. Benjamin was deported from Egypt to Turkey. I certainly hope that Ms. Benjamin escapes further bodily harm. But I can’t help notice a certain naivete in her statement upon being released (carried by CBS News):
"I was brutally assaulted by Egyptian police, who never said what I was being accused of," Benjamin said later in a statement. "When the authorities came into the cell to deport me, two men threw me to the ground, stomped on my back, pulled my shoulder out of its socket and handcuffed me so that my injured arm was twisted around and my wrists began to bleed. I was then forced to sit between the two men who attacked me on the plane ride from Cairo to Istanbul, and I was (and still am) in terrible pain the whole time."
And this from Codepink's press release:
She is currently in Istanbul, Turkey, receiving medical attention at a hospital before she returns to the US. It is still unclear why the Egyptians deported her.
Medea’s colleagues at CODEPINK are appalled by the unnecessary use of force by Egyptian authorities.
Maybe that Muslim Brotherhood thingy?
CBS raises the issue that Benjamin’s detention may have been related to Egypt’s crack down on Hamas or other “extremist” groups in Egypt.
Benjamin complained of “dirty stale bread and dirty water” and a cellmate “moaning all night.” I am glad that Benjamin has been rescued. But I do hope that she has learned something about how great her own country is—oh, and how dangerous it is to fool around with really oppressive men in Islamic countries.
We’ll know soon. The statement from Codepink concludes:
Benjamin has her phone and is available for interviews.
But it's clear to this reader that Ms. Benjamine blundered into a world where nobody is going to give a hoot that Codepink is "appalled."