Lynching And Mob Mentality: The Death Of A State

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Over the past few years, Egypt has found itself in the focus of the world’s media. Social and political instability and disruption are at the heart of such attention. Riots, corruption and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood have seen Egypt thrown into dismay. Just as the media was beginning to move away from the country, a horrific and brutal event happened, calling into question the progression and any changes to the society. On the 17th of March, two young men were brutally beaten, tortured and lynched.

Mahmoud Essoudi and Abderrahman, high school students from Mahallat Ziyad, Northern Egypt, were taken by a vigilante mob on account of crimes they were suspected of committing. Reports of the alleged crimes are mixed; some sources state the boys attempted to steal two gas canisters, others a rickshaw. They were also rumoured to be involved in the kidnap of a local woman. All reports remain unconfirmed.

The boys were accosted by the mob and taken to the local police station. The police force rejected the mob and the two boys. Such a rejection and perceived lack of justice riled the mob, which was ever growing. For the next four hours, stripped to the waist, the boys were subjected to beatings with both fists and weaponry. Upon death, the boys were hung by their feet to the rafters of the central bus station, adjacent to the police station, where the beatings continued. Over 200 people attended the scene.

One of the people who attended the scene was Mahmoud Essoudis father. Unable to reach his son through the crowd, Hamdi Essoudi saw his only child lynched. Talking of the crimes suspected of his son, Mr Essoudi stated:

"Two days after my son was killed, they found [the girl the boys were accused of kidnapping] in Cairo. She had simply run away from home for family reasons… Mahmoud never had problems with the police. He has never been accused of anything. My son got a thousand dollars a month. Why would he steal two gas cans?"

This event has led figure heads to question the situation that accommodates such an event. In an allegedly civilised society, such events should be nonexistent. Rights activists have commented that “There is no security in the country” and vigilante groups such as this are a result of the public having no trust in the politicians and the police force due to prevalent and widespread corruption.

Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki said that the lynching “is one of the signs of the death of the state.”

William Lobley

I am a third year English Language and Literature student, studying at University of Hull, Scarborough campus. Other than writing I enjoy listening to music, playing guitar, gaming, socialising, reading and going to the gym.I hope you enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoy writing it, cheers!


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