The revolution in Egypt is clearly not over. Three weeks after the fall of Mubarak, Egyptians are storming the bureaus of the reviled State Security pushing to claim the thousands of documents revealing torture and other human rights abuses before the documents get shredded. It seems as though the last holdovers from the State Security apparatus have spent the last few days shredding documents that could implicate top officials, leaving massive piles of shredded paper around compounds throughout the country. Some have called the popular dismantling of the State Security one of many Egyptian Bastille days, yet one might remember that the Bastille was more or less empty, leaving the prison as no more than a symbol of the ancien regime. Perhaps the more valid comparison is the ransacking of East German secret police headquarters; the Stansi were notorious for torture (like Mubarak’s State Security), infiltrated all sections of society through the use of informants (like Mubarak’s State Security) and was sacked by the people after days of destroying evidence (you get the point.)
It will be interesting to see what comes from the documents that were recovered and if any of the destroyed documents can be saved (researchers are using computer assisted data recovery techniques – unshredding – to attempt to recover an estimated 45 million pages of shredded East German documents.) There are certainly going to be names and inhumane practices revealed, but perhaps most importantly is the publication of the truth for the many families and individuals who suffered at the hands of the State Security (see the video below).
Photo from Flikr user 3arabawy