Friday, January 19, 2007

More Concerns on Torture:

Torture is done against bad guys, right? We don't torture, but we're not going to talk about our methods. What other myths about torture are we going to keep on having?

Evidence continues to mount that torture, always systemmatic in Egypt, is part of that country's "war on terror." Here is a report received this week about an attack on an alleged member of the Muslim Brotherhood. The report comes from respected Egyptian human rights groups posting on www.misrdigital.com:


"Abdel Megid Abdel Aziz Abdel Megid, known by "Guda" was subject to severe beating and use of electricity on sensitive parts of his body at the state security intelligence headquarters in the city of Kafr El Zayat by the hands of officer "Walid Mohamed Ammar" deputy to the chief stat eintelligence officer at Kafr El Zayat. Guda had been arrested in the early hours of the 16th of Janaury 2007 from his house in the district of Hasiba in the city of Kafr El Zayat, Gharbeyya governorate in the Delta of Egypt.

Guda woke up at about 2 a.m. upon a heavy knocking at his door. As soon as he opened the door the police was all over the house. Guda asked for the prosecutor's permit to search the house, upon which the state security officer reached into his pocket, got out a small piece of paper, which Guda did not read, returned it back into his pocket again and said: "This is the permit. And even if there is no permit, I shall detain you as I wish". The police then took Guda down into the police car, then went up again in arms to search his house causing panic to his wife and children. The police took school books and notebooks of the children, a praying carpet, a computer which was searched by the officer himself at the state security office in violation of the law which states that examination of a computer should be carried out by the technical office upon an order of the prosecution.

As soon as Guda arrived in the state security office in Kafr El Zayat he was beaten, slapped and kicked all over his body by officer Walid Ammar and sergeant Marwan Hashem Abou Aiba. Then Ammar stripped Gouda of all his clothes, forced him to the floor on his back with his hands tied and eyes blindfolded. He then put a chair between his legs and used a baton to pressure sensitive parts of his body. While Guda was screaming of pain, officer Ammar was laughing and saying: "I shall make you lose your manhood totally. You will sleep with your wife with no difference between the two of you!!"

After 20 hours of torture, Guda was referred to the prosecution charged of membership of the Moslem Brotherhood. His file was registered as administrative case no. 710/2007 investigation no. 65 Kafr El Zayat.

Guda's lawyer has filed a complaint to the public prosecutor's officer and the national council for human rights."

If you want to learn more about the case, information is available in Arabic on this website.

Just one comment: The officials allegedly involved here are state security officers. Amnesty has previously expressed concern about torture by security officers, but in past years, we have tried to bring attention to lesser-known but just as prevalent issue of torture in local police stations. You don't have to be involved in politics to be tortured. We hear more about this prominent cases, but the issue is just as important to protect civilians going through their daily chores.

In addition, although a complaint has been filed in the above case, Egypt's record of conducting impartial, public investigations into allegations of torture is poor. Impunity remains an obstacle to justice.

Here are some recent Amnesty actions on torture in Egypt.
Detainees at Risk for Torture in Unknown Locations.
Allegations of Torture of Four Tunisians in Egypt.

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