Justice Ministry Admits Torture Cases

For the first time, the government admitted, in an official account submitted to the parliament, torturing accused and imprisoned convicts. Hassan Hamdy, a Muslim Brotherhood’s MP, tabled a question in the parliament about torture incidents, citing Mos’ad Qotb of the Brotherhood who died under brutal torture in a jail of the State Security. Nevertheless, the perpetrators of this inhuman action are free of punishment. Responding to this question, the Justice Minister, Mahmud Abu el-Lal, uncovered that the toll of nationwide reports of torture instances, during the previous years, mounts only to 20 cases.

The minister said prosecutions conducted immediate probes into the reported torture occurrences. So far, fifteen of torture cases were decided while the remaining five are still pending some necessary procedures such as medical reports. He explained that medical reports take long time because they include making several medical check-ups and tests.

However, the Justice Minister brushed aside any details about the nature of the torture occurrences. He shrugged off to mention the identity of its committers, of its victims whether criminal or political prisoners, and of its results that led to deaths, in some cases.

On the other side, the Interior Ministry, in its account, denied any torturing practices to force suspects making confessions. The account stressed that Habeeb el-Adly, the Interior Minister, does not shield any policemen, no matter their positions, if proved exercising torture or breaching human rights. According to the account, the ministry, at once, refers any violator to an internal disciplinary tribunal, before awaiting a relative judiciary verdict!!

The ministry asserted that the reported cases of abuse are individual, refusing to accept it as a growing phenomenon. Torture is not the ministry’s policy in treating pending-investigation suspects or term-serving prisoners. On the contrary, the ministry considers seriously any reports about violations of human rights, holding instant probes to find facts. Moreover, the ministry denied using or employing equipments for torture in prisons, proclaiming an expanded overhaul inside jails over the recent years.