Egypt: Remembering Khaled Said for a World Without Torture


Written by Juliana Rincón Parra, Global Voices

The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) has recently released a 15 minute film titled World Without Torture that focuses not only on the importance of preventing torture, but also the importance of documenting it and providing rehabilitation for torture survivors.

The film features the case of Khaled Said. His death at the hands of state police – and the attempt to cover it up through the official autopsy report – sparked massive protests in Egypt in the run-up to the  revolution that led to the toppling of Hosni Mubarak’s oppressive regime.

Global Voices has followed the Egyptian people’s reactions and their search for justice in Khaled Said’s case, from musings on the murder and reactions to the first allegations against Said, to the birth of the website in his honor.

One year after Khaled Said’s death, bloggers remembered him as one of the reasons for the revolution. It took more than a year for his trial to reach the courts. After delays, the two secret service policemen who beat him to death were sentenced to seven years in prison, and netizens made their displeasure with the verdict quite clear.

What the death of this young man managed to do for Egypt was much more than raise awareness on torture and its victims: he became the face of the revolution, a figure with whom Egyptians could identify. The We Are All Khaled Said website has declared itself to be “Against torture in Egypt and inhuman treatment of Egyptians in their own country” and it has been following up on other cases of torture by the Egyptian police forces.

This next video is of a song titled Too Scared to say it Loudly, edited, uploaded and subtitled in English by We are All Khaled Said and focuses on the importance of changing society and making torture stop:

Khaled Said was posthumously awarded the Human Rights Award 2011 in Berlin on September 19, 2011, and his sister, Zahraa Said Kassem received the award in his place. His face can be seen in countless graffitti around Egypt as a symbol of the revolution, so to honor him in Berlin, Author Don Kar in collaboration with The Dudes Factory (Freedom Park) & Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation decided to paint his face on a piece of the Berlin Wall:

“They broke down the Berlin Wall for freedom and unity. Kahled Said got killed for the same reason, for freedom and democracy. Khaled would be very happy if he was with us today. We will not forget you Khaled and we will bring your rights back. And we will bring every Egyptian’s right back. We are all Khaled Said!” Zahraa Said Kassem

Following is a video documenting the painting of the mural, and the background music is a rap by Khaled Said himself:

This post was originally published by Global Voices.


Related Stories:

No Justice For Khaled Said: Lenient Sentences for Police

Free Egyptian Blogger Alaa And El Fattah

Khaled Mohamed Said (January 27, 1982 – June 6, 2010) and the Arab Spring


Photo from Gigi Ibrahim via flickr


Aud Nordby
Aud n6 years ago


Gloria Morotti
Gloria Morotti7 years ago

Torture must be outlawed. RIP Khaled.

Judith Howard
Judy Howard7 years ago

My heart goes out to the people of Egypt in their struggle. Khaled Said was such a courageous soul and his death will not have been in vain for look at what he has achieved for the people of Egypt. I saw the short film on the work The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). They show their clients working in gardens as part of their healing process which is working extremely well. I thought wouldn't it be wonderful for the survivors to also work with abused animals, helping to nurture them in their healing process. I think that would be a wonderful thing.

Jane L.
Jane L7 years ago

I wish I had been warned about the graphic imagery of Khaled. I was quite shocked when the image of his face showed up after being tortured. Omg, that's brutal...It's ironic that it's the police who are the criminals they are supposed to protect citizens from. It's monstrous what they did to Khaled.

K s Goh
KS Goh7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Joy Jin
Joy Jin7 years ago

Torture is disgusting and should be outlawed all around the world.

TERRY R7 years ago


Marilyn L.
Marilyn L7 years ago

RIP Khaled.

Giovanna M.
Giovanna M7 years ago


Alicia N.
Alicia N7 years ago

Rest his soul..........