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Egypt: Khaled Said, One Year Later

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

One year ago, Khaled Said, a 27-year-old Egyptian from the coastal city of Alexandria, was tortured to death at the hands of two policemen who wanted to search him, justifying it under the emergency law. His death sparked anger among Egyptians, but no one at the time imagined that one year later Mubarak, the Minister of Interior, and other pillars of his police-state regime would be behind bars. Today, Egyptians are remembering the anniversary of one of the main reasons for their revolution.

On Twitter, Egyptians shared their feelings on the occasion. Here is a snap shot of some of their reactions:

@Mohamed_Atwa: #KhaledSaid Thank you for starting the revolution. Thank you for waking up the human in me. Allah yer7amak ya rab [God bless your soul]

@mariamarafat: To those of you who forgot, #KhaledSaid was the spark that ignited the Egyptian revolution. The least we can do is remember him on this day.

Carlos Latuff: Khaled Said and Mubarak

An illustration by the Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff that summarizes how the death of Khaled Said challenged Mubarak's rule.

Wael Ghonim shared a photo of one of the first protests condemning the death of Khaled Said. The small number of people participating in the protest cannot be compared to the millions who took to the streets in the Egyptian revolution, however, it was a spark that would eventually start the revolution.

Some of the people who participated in those protests one year ago, were demonstrating for the first time in their lives. Ahmed Khair Eldeen wrote how the death of Khaled Said changed the mentality of the whole country, and how the fear of having the same destiny exceeded their fear to protest:

بعدها بأيام أصبح اسم خالد سعيد معروفا لدى كل الشعب المصرى، تحولت صورة الولد الجميل الذى لقى مصرعه بتلك البشاعة الى أيقونة وضعها الشباب بديلا لصورهم على فيسبوك وخرجت الفتيات والسيدات لأول مرة فى مختلف مدن مصر وشوارعها فى مظاهرات ينددن بما جرى وربما كان فى مخيلة كل واحدة منهن رعبا أن تتكرر تلك الحادثة لشقيقها أو ابنها

كانت المظاهرات التى خرجت فى أعقاب واقعة خالد سعيد دليلا على تغير طرأ فى ردود أفعال الشعب المصرى وادراك كل فرد ان الدور قد يجىء عليه أو على ابنه أو أخيه فى يوم من الأيام
A few days later the name of Khaled Said became known to all Egyptians. The photograph of the handsome man who was brutally killed became an icon the youth used instead of their own pictures on their Facebook profiles. Girls and women went down to the streets for the first time condemning what happened as they were afraid thinking that the exact thing might happen to their brothers or sons.

The demonstrations that took place after Khaled Said's death proved how the behaviour of Egyptians has changed and how everyone became aware now that it might be him, his son, or his brothers’ turn that comes next after Khaled Said.

Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch condemned his death then and called for investigations into the brutal killing. But now and after all these months, both those responsible for his death nor the ones who murdered the protesters during the revolution are yet to be punished.

@nagoul1: We are #BackInBlack not only because of #KhaledSaid, but because most of those who murdered #Jan25 protesters are still loose.

Finally Mariam Arafat is sad because Khaled Said is not here to witness the change he made, and Mai Shams El-Din tweeted that Said died for all of us to live now.

@maishams: He died so we can live. RIP #KhaledSaid

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

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