be careful with government ID badges you take abroad

Derrik Sweeney story makes you think twice what kind of identification documents you should take when leaving the US and what should certainly stay home. Derrik is a Goergetown University student who had an internship at Rep. Blain Luetkemeyer office in Washingon DC. He and 2 other students got arrested when observing protests at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt; it happened at night on November 22nd. Sweeney feels that the posession of Capitol Hill ID badge and map scared the local undercover security forces. According to the students they were beaten and thretened of shooting and gasoline feeding. The students were contacted by US consul within a day and released a few days later after a court verdict.
This is one scary story that fortunatelly ended well. I’m very happy for them to be safe but if I was their family I’d have a serious conversation about what happened. Going to a country with such heavy unrests like Egypt is now might sound like an adventure to 19 years old but any person with military or security experience would have different opinion on that matter. Blending in protesters crowd while being a foreigner and carrying a government related id badge is asking for trouble. This might be interpreted as a foreign government employee trying to influence political matters. Pretty bad case in general. Sure the student was most likely inocent but it needs to be pointed out that during riots most casualties come from innocent people and trigger gets pulled very quickly during revolutions.

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