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In this exclusive interview, author and activist Medea Benjamin details how guards at Cairo airport detained her, dislocated her shoulder, and deported her as she tried to reach Gaza for International Women's Day.Click here for free audiobook download from Audible, and earn $15 for the PBC Podcast!
Medea Benjamin, cou-founder of Code Pink for Pease, tells us about her ordeal in Cairo last week. She was leading a delegation of 100 women from around the world to Gaza to observe International Women's Day. She explains that they had been working well with Egyptian authorities and were quite suprised when Benjamin and other well-known women were quickly deported without cause.
Benjamin was detained for 17 hours, and repeatedly asked the US embassy to assist, but never saw an American diplomat. When she objected to her detention, guards responded with comments about how we treat detainees. 5 male guards threw her to the floor, twisting her arm until it popped out of the shoulder socket; they tightly handcuffed her, and hauled her by the injured arm through the airport and attempted to muffle her screams. Over the objection of an Egyptian doctor, she was put on a plane to Istanbul with two of the guards. Fortunately, that flight had a passenger who is an orthopedic surgeon, and he popped her arm back in and gave her pain medication.
In our conversation, we talk about the new military dictatorship in Egypt, and its relationship to Israel; we note 11 years since the invasion of Iraq, and worldwide derision of John Kerry's lecture to the Russians about invading countries at the tip of a gun barrell.
Benjamin is the author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, and I ask her what she thinks has led to a sharp reduction in US drone strikes in Pakistan in 2014. The Code Pink website is here.