Filmmaker David Bradbury’s son Dylan, 24, gives a recent account of getting dragged into the civil unrest in Egypt where Muslim Brotherhood protesters were murdered by the military.
Gunshot and bomb sounds were going off around us at my friend Kashif’s and my place.
I was filming from the apartment window – people were hiding behind walls from gunfire. I decided to go check it out with Kashif and film it on his phone. We walked out of the lobby where people were hiding and we filmed people throwing stones and ran right into it to get closer shots. Kashif ran back inside. Then I filmed a military guy in front of me with an AK-47 shooting at people, about ten metres away from me. I believe they were shooting at the Muslim Brotherhood.
Before I knew it, a swarm of people were around me and I was pushed to the ground. One guy had my head to the road with his boot. I was holding on tightly to the phone as they all try to prise it out of my hands.
They saw me recording and wanted to take the phone. I hung onto it for dear life because of the video I just took and because it was Kashif’s phone with all his photos and videos of Egypt on it. They finally got it out of my hands, gunshots still going off all around me.
I kept saying it is not my phone, I need to get it back. Hard to explain to them. They led me to the police station – still gunshots going off everywhere. As I walked up the stairs to the police station, one of them kicked me in the chest from the top of the stairs. It didn’t hurt because there was so much adrenaline pumping.
The swarm of people around me were very forceful, no forgiveness. They all seemed to hate me. I couldn’t even open the phone because it had Kashif’s password, but they thought I was lying. They patted me down very forcefully and really squeezed my dick and balls on purpose. They love this power. I finally got it into their heads that we needed Kashif to open the phone. A guy led me back to Kashif, but he would not come up to the apartment. He said if there is someone other than Kashif up there, he will stab me in the back.
Things were just so out of control. Then I saw Kashif looking very worried at the bottom of our apartment block. The guy then followed me to him. Kashif had to get our passports. Both our visas had expired, oops. Then I was taken to the police station with the password.
The police put the password in and opened up the video of the military man firing at people. They said they were going to delete all of Kashif’s photos and video; they were trying to mess with me. They deleted the video I filmed out of our apartment window of people hiding behind walls from the gunshots. Then they said they were going to handcuff me and keep me there for two days. I became incredibly present and just surrendered to the situation. Again they tried to intimidate me and make me scared.
After some time they handed back our passports, Kashif’s phone and the money from my pocket. I walked back to the apartment. Most of the gunfire had settled down.
When I got back, all Kashif said was, ‘You’ll never learn, man. You’ll just never learn.’ Cairo is such a busy city, but for days after this there was just no-one on the streets. All the shops were shut. Now there is a curfew and you can’t go out after 7pm.