U.S. Activist Says Detained, Beaten by Police in Cairo

Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin was en route to Gaza, tweets from Egypt: 'Help. They broke my arm.'

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An American peace and social justice activist said she was detained in Cairo and had her arm broken on Tuesday en route to the Gaza Strip.

"I am being held in a jail at Cairo airport," tweeted Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of Code Pink, the self-described "women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S. funded wars and occupations."

Benjamin tweeted "Help. They broke my arm. Egypt police," after previously posting two photographs to her Twitter account: One is of a room with bunk beds that she described as her "cell" at the Cairo airport and the other is of flatbreads with the caption "Only food for 5 women is dirty stale bread and dirty water."

Benjamin was supposed to be greeting a women's delegation on its way to Gaza to attend International Women's Day, celebrated on March 8 worldwide.

The U.S. Embassy apparently came to Benjamin's rescue, CBS News reported Tuesday, saying that Benjamin had left Egypt after receiving consular assistance. Code Pink tweeted that she was deported to Turkey.

Benjamin, a pro-Palestinian activist who has advocated for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, recently protested outside the annual AIPAC policy conference in Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, an Egyptian court on Tuesday banned all activities of Hamas in Egypt, a judge said, in another sign that security forces plan to squeeze the Palestinian militant group that runs neighboring Gaza.

Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which has been declared a terrorist group by Egypt's army-backed government and has faced a security crackdown since the military ousted one of its leaders, Mohammed Morsi, from the presidency last July.

This is my cell in Cairo airport pic.twitter.com/ogIaXTvJvh

Medea Benjamin at a 2007 protest.Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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