Mohamed ElBaradei has given an exclusive interview to the Guardian:
“I’m sending a message to the Guardian and to the world that Egypt is being isolated by a regime on its last legs,” he said.
His words marked an escalation with the language he used on arrival in Cairo last night, when he merely urged the Mubarak government to “listen to the people” and not to use violence.
He has been criticised by some Egyptians for his late return to his homeland, two days after the protests began – hundreds of people have already been arrested and exposed to the brutal tactics of the security services. But ElBaradei was keen to stress his solidarity with the protesters.
“There is of course a risk to my safety today, but it’s a risk worth taking when you see your country in such a state you have to take risks,” he said. “I will be with the people today.”
As Allah noted last night, the internet has been shut down throughout Egypt so we’re not getting the cell phone and flipcam uploads to You Tube that usually accompany such protests. We’ll likely have to wait for news agency reports as they come in.
However, there is one bit of video that appeared before the net was shut down which I believe is destined to become a part of the story in much the same way that the death of 16 year old Neda Agha-Soltan galvanized Iranian protesters two years ago. Yesterday, a 17 year old protester was shot and killed, apparently by riot police. In the video, a shot rings out and he immediately collapses to the street where his body is collected by friends. Consider yourself warned. Not bloody but very disturbing nonetheless.