Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin Jailed In Egypt On Way To Gaza (Updated)

Remember Code Pink’s trip to Gaza, which came to light when one of the (less savvy) participants begged me for money?

Well it seems to have hit a snag, with their aesthetically and morally challenged leader Medea Benjamin being jailed in Egypt!












Notice those bars in the background? This is NOT her jail cell

It is not entirely clear why she was jailed, but it might have something to do with Code Pink’s chumminess with Hamas. According to Breitbart:

Israel Today points out that Egypt is now going after Hamas to assure another Muslim Brotherhood uprising cannot happen again. Additionally, Egyptian officials have already told the Islamist group it will be shutting down smuggling tunnels between the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip, Israel Radio reported Friday.

In any event, while orange may be the new black, at least in Cairo, pink is the new orange.

Update: She’s now claiming they broke her arm.

Update: Turkey, here she comes.

Update: Official statement from Code Pink:

CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin Detained, Brutally Attacked and Deported from Egypt en route to Gaza with International Delegation of Women


March 4, 2014

Contact: Alli McCracken, CODEPINK National Coordinator, 860-575-5692,

    Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK Co-founder, 415-235-6517

CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin Detained, Brutally Attacked and Deported from Egypt en route to Gaza with International Delegation of Women

On the night of March 3, 2014, co-founder of the peace group CODEPINK Medea Benjamin was on her way to Egypt to join an international delegation of women going to Gaza when she was detained by border police in the Cairo airport, held overnight in a cell, and then brutally tackled (her arm badly injured), handcuffed, and deported to Turkey. During her time in the detention cell she had access to a cell phone, from which she contacted colleagues at CODEPINK about the poor conditions of the cell and chronicled her ordeal via Twitter. When the Egyptian police removed her from the detention center, they used such excessive force she sustained a fracture and torn ligament in her shoulder.

Calling from Istanbul, Benjamin gave the following statement: “I was brutally assaulted by Egyptian police, who never said what I was being accused of. When the authorities came into the cell to deport me, two men threw me to the ground, stomped on my back, pulled my shoulder out of its socket and handcuffed me so that my injured arm was twisted around and my wrists began to bleed. I was then forced to sit between the two men who attacked me on the plane ride from Cairo to Istanbul, and I was (and still am) in terrible pain the whole time.” Doctors in the Cairo airport said she was not fit to travel because of her injury, but the authorities forced her to board anyways.

She is currently in Istanbul, Turkey, receiving medical attention at a hospital before she returns to the US. It is still unclear why the Egyptians deported her. Medea’s colleagues at CODEPINK are appalled by the unnecessary use of force by Egyptian authorities.

In response to a call from the women of Gaza, Benjamin was traveling through Egypt to be a part of the CODEPINK contingent of an international coalition of 100 women traveling to Gaza to witness the hardships facing the 1.7 million residents, deliver humanitarian aid, and call attention to the need for a longer-term strategy to achieve peace and justice for Palestinians.

Benjamin has her phone and is available for interviews: 415 235 6517.

Who wants to interview her? Could be fun.

And this could also be fun:

Hey folks, you may have heard that Medea was detained and beaten badly by the Egyptian authorities while trying to enter Egypt to go to Gaza with a larger international delegation of women. She was violently deported to Turkey, where she’s now in the hospital until her flight back to the US on Wednesday. It’s heartbreaking to think of the wonderful peacemaker we all love being harmed in any way! It’s also scary to think about all the Egyptian activists (and journalists!!) who continue to languish in Egypt’s prisons indefinitely for speaking out against the new government. Medea being barred from going to Gaza also reminds us that the Palestinians remained trapped in Gaza as long as the Egyptian Rafah border remains closed or tightly controlled.

Show Medea some love! Take a picture of yourself with a Get Well Soon message, and email it to and/or tweet it at @codepink! Use the hashtag #FreeGaza on your message too! We’ll put all the pics we get in an album and share it with Medea when she gets home safely.

Post your pics in the comments.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media