Code Pink's Medea Benjamin was on her way to Gaza on Tuesday when she was detained in a Cairo airport. And according to the activist, she was injured before eventually being deported to Turkey. "Help. They broke my arm. Egypt police," Benjamin tweeted early on Tuesday morning. Both Cairo and the U.S. have acknowledged that the activist was detained and deported, although Cairo officials deny that they abused her.
According to Reuters, security officials in Cairo detained Benjamin because she is on the Egyptian version of a "no fly" list — a watch list for those suspected of "involvement in acts harmful to Egyptian national security." Egypt was not Benjamin's final destination — she was on her way to Gaza to meet up with a group of other female activists — but she was held in the airport overnight. Benjamin had access to a phone and tweeted from detention:
This is my cell in Cairo airport pic.twitter.com/ogIaXTvJvh— Medea Benjamin (@medeabenjamin) March 4, 2014
Only food for 5 women is dirty stale bread and dirty water pic.twitter.com/6YFwXm4KL0— Medea Benjamin (@medeabenjamin) March 4, 2014
Women in Egyptian jail cell with me moaning all night, sick. Guards won't jet her see a doctor.— Medea Benjamin (@medeabenjamin) March 4, 2014
statement from Code Pink, Benjamin's arm was broken as she was being removed from her holding cell to be deported to Turkey. The organization described her injuries as a "fracture and torn ligament."
Benjamin is a well-known activist, probably most recognizable for her pretty impressive ability to sneak into high-profile events. However, she is hardly the only individual detained by Egyptian forces raising concerns overseas. The country is trying several Al-Jazeera journalists on charges including aiding a "terrorist organization" — in this case, it's implied that the organization is the Muslim Brotherhood.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.