• April 24, 2008

Muslim Brotherhood MPs: Gov’t Impedes Anti-torture Law

Muslim Brotherhood MPs: Gov’t Impedes Anti-torture Law

Hussein Mohamed Ibrahim (Deputy Chief of the MB parliamentary bloc) submitted a draft law for amending Article 126 Penal Law three years ago. Although the Parliament’s Committee of Suggestions and Complaints and the Constitutional and Legislative Committees have approved the draft law, the government still ignores it. The legislative committee has submitted the draft law to the government for reaction, but the government refused it and stuck to the original drafting of the law to maintain police’s immunity to torture civilians.

Discussions at the parliament’s legislative committee revealed that the government sticks to the current drafting of Article 126 Penal Law that gives the required immunity for police officers to torture the civilians inside prisons, detentions, and police stations without punishment, despite the international organizations’ condemnation of torture in Egypt.

In reply to Ibrahim, Dr. Fathi Sorour- head of the Peoples Assembly- said: “The government has ratified the International Charter for Banning Torture; I see nothing impeding its amendment”. “I call upon the head of the legislative committee; Dr. Amaal Othman, to swiftly end such amendment and coordinate with the government regarding this important issue,” he added.

Sorour added that there is no immunity for any police officer or public official to torture civilians, and indicated that law incriminates whoever assaults and have fixed punishments for that.

Hussein Ibrahim stressed the importance of this amendment; especially the government refuses to attend the committee’s meeting to approve it. He said that such existing drafting makes Egypt vulnerable to international human rights organizations’ condemnation and criticism.

He accused the government of impeding the amendment to protect the police officers who commit torture.