- December 1, 2007
Officer Who Tortured Citizen Gets 7 Years
Mansoura Criminal Court sentenced to seven years in prison first lieutenant Mohamed Moawad and two detectives convicted for torturing to death citizen Nasser Al-Saeedi. Al-Saeedi was tortured to death in an Egyptian police stations in the village of Tilbana, Mansoura district, on July, 31 st, 2007. The verdict was issued on the second session.
This case sparked public interest, especially as more tortures committed in police stations are widely exposed, making amnesty international describing torture in Egyptian police stations as systematically committed. These tortures have recently increased and have become on a daily basis, enraging the public opinion and Egyptian people in general.
This ruling is the second of such a kind in this month Giza Criminal court sentenced last Nov,5th an officer and policeman to 3 years with hard labor after convicting them of torturing and sodomizing a citizen two years ago, in a case known in the media as Emad El-Kabir case.
The speed with which the verdict was issued in addition to the tough sentence raised eyebrows of many media outlets which welcomed it. Also, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights issued a statement in which it discussed the issue and condemned the torturers .
Hafez Abu Sida, the Secretary-General of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, said about this ruling:
The penal code”s articles regarding torture still require many amendments. This is only one single ruling from one court while there are hundreds of similar other cases that have never received any ruling yet.
However, Abu Sida welcomed this ruling and touted the justice of the judges who issued this ruling.
“In some cases, the Egyptian justice sees that issuing such tough sentences leads to sending a strong message to officers and soldiers who commit such hideous crimes”, said Abu Sida, adding that “We hope that such a method is retained and that the public prosecution continues its serious work of holding policemen accountable for their actions. This because such a method will undoubtedly help in war against terrorism and against the police tortures against citizens.
Abu Sida said that this verdict was quickly issued due to the nature of the case and the hideous circumstances of it, confirming that such a case can undoubtedly provoke any person all over the world. It is not clear why this citizen was tortured to death in such a way and why has he received such an inhumane treatment. All these circumstances definitely provoked the court and made it issue such a ruling.
Asked whether this ruling is tied to state inclination to eradicate such a phenomenon, Abu Sida pointed out that this issue is not related to any general trend or to any government performance. The government”s possible role in speeding up the litigation measures was actually to ease the heated tensions in the public opinion. The court ruling of sentencing the torturers to 7 years in prison for this crime was a very logical reaction, and it is actually confined to this case only and it has no other dimensions.