Egyptian Activist Known as 'Sandmonkey' Reveals Identity After Police Beating


Al-Jazeera correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin told ABC News he was bound, blindfolded and threatened by Egyptian police and witnessed beatings of other suspects in a police station just hours after he asked his Twitter followers for more information on the video.

The video, recorded in Alexandria, Egypt, on Jan. 31, according to its description, shows a man walking towards a group of police with his arms spread out, gesturing that he is unarmed. The man stops about thirty feet away from the police and, after a few tense seconds, begins to back away before a single shot rings out.

The man is knocked to the ground and lays motionless as a woman, heard in the video, screams, "Why, you animals? Why?"

After seeing the video, Mohyeldin asked his Twitter followers if anyone knew more about the incident.

The next Tweet made from his account -- six hours later -- said, "Ayman has been detained by Egypt military... (tweeted by a friend)."

While in custody, Mohyeldin said he saw many people being beaten by police.

"People that were sitting next to us, that were other people that were arrested in the crowd -- they were not journalists -- they were slapped, they were kicked, they were beaten," he told ABC News after his release seven hours later. "I saw them use a great deal of violence on the people that were there."

Mohyeldin said he doesn't necessarily believe his arrest was connected to his inquiries about the shooting video, but said he was rounded up simply because he was a journalist.

Egyptian Blogger Wael Abbas Recounts Odyssey of Repeated Detentions

Wael Abbas, an Egyptian journalist who also posted police brutality videos on his website, had been able to elude police capture for days at the start of the protests by moving constantly and staying on the phone for only a couple minutes at a time. Eventually, however he was captured and detained but later released.

Since then, he told ABC News, every movement around the city has turned into a tense odyssey of checkpoints, searches, detentions and terrifying threats of death.

Each time he's stopped while traveling, Abbas said he is asked "Are you Egyptian? Why are you here?" and searched. At one point, he said police began screaming at him and frightened him so much he thought he was going to be killed on the spot.

And though he's posted several videos of police brutality, Abbas said he did not witness any during his short stints in detention.

"Always when I am in a police station and they know who I am, or they know I am a journalist, they try to be nice and gentle to suspects," he said. "They never beat suspects in front of me."

But like Salem, Abbas said police make the videos because they are "untouchable."

"They spend the time torturing the suspects and they laugh about it and they show these videos to each other and somehow these videos are leaked," he said. "I hope that this revolution succeeds and it bring change."

CLICK HERE to read ABC News' report on Wael Abbas.

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