The most famous incident concerning a war crime against a POW which is the main theme of this website is the incident of the famous hero “Mohamed Mahran”
“Mohamed Mahran” was 18 years old young man who joined as many of the Egyptian patriot young men a movement called “The National guards” in Port Said as soon as the Nationalization of Suez Canal was announced on the 26th of July 1956. The Egyptian army and regime understood that the nationalization can cause lots of anger to France and England ,and thus to protect the city any kind of attack ,the Army and the city people made what was known “The National guards” training young men to defend their own cities and so on
Young Mohamed Mahran was only 18 years old as we said before , and he was the leader of the National guards group in the El-Jamil airport area.On the 5 of November ,the attack of the British Paratroops started and they began to land in the airport area. El-Jamil airport and also the area surrounding it saw real fierce resistance from the people against the invaders despite the British claims , it wasn’t an easy picnic at all .
Despite the resistance the British paratroops succeeded in landing and controlling the airport , they killed and injured lots of the resistance forces in the area , of course they took the injured as P.O.W
Among the injured was “Mahran” who was captured in his attempt to escape from the British forces, since his capture ,the British forces treated him very bad from beating taking off cloths , making him thirsty , all what can make the HRW very angry ,yet we didn’t reach to the climax yet in the Mahran great story
During his capture in El-Jamil area , “Mahran refused to cooperate with the British and tell them all what they know from information about the Egyptian troops,the resistance troops their weapons and numbers …etc from these kind of intelligence information,already they knew his position from the id in his pocket when they took off his cloths
Mahran refused to answer and for that they decided to punish him by forming a military court for him and the verdict came to punish the 18 years old Mohamed Mahran for cooperating with taking off his eyes , yes taking off his eyes !!
And thus Mahran was taking and he was badly injured in different parts in his body especially his foot ,he was taken to the Larnaca airport in Cyprus where he was taken to the British Military hospital there where he was received by a torture squad that didn’t leave him alone and stop beating until a British doctor came and ordered them to stop as he wanted to offer him an offer or a deal , it was like the devil’s deal for sure.Mahran was ready to listen no one in the world wants to be tortured or to be taken off his eyes ,especially the eyes and that was the card that the doctor began to play with .
“A rare photo to Mr. Mahran in his way to Malta”
” Do you want to be blind??” he asked
“No one wants in the world to be blind” Mahran answered
“Ok here is the deal” he said and continued speaking “There is a British officer who lost his eyes because of your gun , and we are going to use your eyes to transplant them in the cornea’s of the British officers,but if you live with one eye and he can live with one eye, yet this eye has a price to pay,don’t mind to pay that price??”
Mahran as a normal human said “I don’t mind at all but what is the price??”
“The price is answer all the questions you refused to answer back in Port Said and before that you are going to have an interview with the Free Egypt station “That was a radio station UK used to air in the time of 1956 hoping that they could influence the Egyptian and Arab people as a respond to Nasser great propaganda machine presented in Voice of Arabs station” ,In the interview you are going to say how the people of Port Said received the British forces”
Of course the doctor wanted Mahran to lie and say that the Egyptian people received the British paratroops by flowers instead of bolts and resistance , the radio then was an important media device and at that time “The Voice of Arab”was like ultimate propaganda weapon Nasser succeeded through it in invading the hearts,minds and even souls of the Arab people with his Arab Nationalism thinking
Anyhow Mahran,the wonderful 18 years old young refused the deal ,the doctor was surprised and thus he ordered theÂ torture squad to complete the beating party.
They kept beating in wounded Mahran till they beat the crap out of him as he described later , he felt he was going to die , and thus he had no other option except to say “Ok ,I will do it ,I will say what you want”
Mahran described that moment that he said so in order to make the two members of the torture band stop for one secondÂ , and in the time where the doctor would get the record in ,he could die in it peacefully , the young man thought he was going to die in any second.
Anyway he didn’t ,the doctor came with the record and ordered him to speak and Mahran for his surprise he didn’t die,the doctor came with other four men and this time they began to treat Mahran in a very nice way that they put him in a bed ,yes he wasn’t in a bed all that time ,those long hours ,I know for sure they were the longest and the worst in his lifeÂ
The doctor began to record and said in Arabic “We areÂ now in Cyprus and we have with us the young Man Mohamed Mahran Othman who will speak about the failure policy of Nasser in Egypt and the wonderful reception of the Egyptian people in Port Said for the British forces!!!“
And he gave the mic to Mahran who said “From here I ask from Allah God the victory to our Egyptian leaders over the Enemies of Egyptian and Arabism,long live Egypt and long live Nasser”
And the Doctor went crazy, closed the recorder ,slapped Mahran and cursed him and Egypt !!
Then they transfered him to the operation room where he found the other British officer on another bed ready for the transplant.Mohamed Mahran in those moments felt so afraid ,I can’t describe or imagine his feelings in those terrible moments ,he himself said that it was indescribable feeling of horror and terror.He kept begging the doctor
” Please let me keep one eye and you can take the other one , please you are doctor ,you should n’t do this ,I beg you ,I beg you just let me keep my eye”
“You didn’t keep your promise and so we won’t keep our promise”
And it was the last face Mahran ever saw was that doctor , who doesn’t deserve that title Â
Hard moments I can’t imagine easily but everytime I see Mahran on the TV speaking about it and how he describe it ,I swear if you watch ,you won’t sleep easy , Mahran lost his eyes in a war crime ,it is not a war crime,it is a crime against humanityÂ
I have a confession I thought of making this series of posts after watching that great man on TV
Mahran the next day woke up in a fire in his eyes when he asked them
They told him “we took your eyes so you can be an example to people like you in Egypt!!”
Mohamed Mahran now lives in Port Said ,married got children and children and happy ,of course sometimes he feels sad and angry , and sometimes he wishes he can cry again , the only face he wishes to see again is his mother’s .His mother went crazy when she knew what happened to her son
Mahran all that time didn’t say the name of the doctor who did this to him ,despite till now he knows very well and how can he forget??!!
This simple kind Port Said man full of faith refuses to be compansted even with a statue in his hometown ,even with money ,he can sue that criminal and take a companstation as a Muslim believer he doesn’t wait for a companstation for what happened , it is a test and he succeededÂ
I want to record this incident because I don’t think incident the companstation should with money but with jailÂ
I wonder how that Doctor slept at night that day on the 6th or the 7th of November ??
and more important question
what how the British officer saw the world in Mohamed Mahran’s egyptian black eyes??