Egypt: Disproportionate and excessive use of force during arrest_Lack of appropriate medical care
|Monday, June 1,2009 08:42|
Disproportionate and excessive use of force/ Attempted killing/ Lack of appropriate medical care/ Fear for safety
The International Secretariat of the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Egypt.
Brief description of the situation
The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by a reliable source and Antenna International, a member organisation of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about the disproportionate and excessive use of force during the arrest of alleged members of Muslim Brotherhood that lead, among other, to the severe injuries sustained by Mr. Fares Hamdi Naim Barakat, who was thrown from the 4th floor of a building. OMCT has also been informed of the subsequent arrest of 25 men (list attached) and fears for their physical and psychological integrity as they may be at risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment.
According to the information received, on 17 May 2009 at 7 pm, security police force (about 90 men), led by State Security Intelligence (SSI) officer Nagi El Gammal, broke into the apartment of Mr. Ahmed Ali Hussein Eid in Damanhour, Beheira governorate, when this later was celebrating his daughter’s birthday party in the presence of family and relatives. The security forces reportedly searched the apartment, violently harassed those present and then started arresting some of them claiming to have a warrant.
According to the same information, during the arrest, Mr. Fares Hamdi Naim Barakat, one of the friends present, asked to see the prosecutor’s warrant for search and arrest, upon which he was pushed back to the balcony by police officer Nagil El Gammal. When Mr. Fares Barakat tried to resist, he was held back by police assistant Gamal el Taye’e who was then allegedly ordered by police officer El Gammal “to throw this man from the balcony”. Mr. Fares Barakat fell from the 4th floor sustaining severe injuries and loosing consciousness. He was brought to the incentive care unit (ICU) of the National Medical Institute in Damanhour where he was diagnosed with several fractures and post concussion syndrome.
On 19 May 2009, Mr. Fares Barakat’s lawyers submitted a request to the public attorney in Beheira to launch an investigation into this event. However, the public attorney rejected the request on the basis that the investigation falls within the judicial authority of Damanhour. A similar request was then submitted to this latter, but again it was rejected.
According to the same information, later on the same day, chief intelligence officers Mohamed Ammar and Abdel Aziz El Tanikhi, accompanied by police forces, circled the ICU, preventing doctors and family from entering claiming that the prosecution had ordered the detention of Mr. Barakat. The officers reportedly insisted to question Mr. Barakat and when the family protested they were allegedly threatened to be forcefully thrown out of the hospital.
Following the interrogation, the officers reportedly came out of the room with sheets of paper signed by Mr. Barakat depicting a different story from what had happened. Mr. Barakat’s lawyers subsequently filed a complaint against the officers for having interrogated Mr. Bakarat while he was in a critical health condition. OMCT fears that Mr. Barakat was forced to sign those papers.
Mr. Barakat’s lawyer have also submitted several requests to have him transferred to a private hospital since the National Medical Institute reportedly lacks the necessary medical facilities with regard to his health condition. However, the public attorney of Beheira rejected their request and insisted to summon a forensic team to confirm his need for such a procedure (operation on internal fixation of his pelvic fractures). In the meantime, Mr. Barakat remains reportedly detained in ICU under strict police surveillance and handcuffed to his bed.
According to the same information received, 24 men, who were present at Mr. Ahmed Ali Hussein Eid’s apartment, were eventually arrested on 17 May 2009 by the security forces, accused of membership of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, advocacy of its ideas and possession of its publications. Mr. Barakat and Mr. Ali Ahmed Nasr were arrested later. The 25 (except for Mr. Barakat) are currently detained in Sahrawi Prison 2 in Wadi El Natroun, which is a reportedly at about six hours drive from Cairo. Their conditions of detention would be very poor (overcrowding, lack of mattresses, food and privacy with their lawyers).
OMCT is gravely concerned about these events and urges the competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation therein, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law. OMCT also calls on the authorities to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Barakat and the other 25 men who were arrested, in accordance with international human rights law, in particular the provisions of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
Please write to the authorities in Egypt urging them to
i. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Fares Hamdi Naim Barakat and the other 25 men mentioned above;
ii. Guarantee Mr. Fares Hamdi Naim Barakat immediate access to adequate medical care;
iii. Guarantee the 25 mentioned above immediate and unconditional access to a legal representation of their choice, their families and any medical care they may require;
iv. Order their immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with international law and standards, and if such charges exist, to ensure that they are given a prompt and fair trial, in which their procedural rights are guaranteed at all times;
i. Call upon the competent authorities to carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into these events, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
ii. Guarantee that no evidence obtained under force be used in court cases;
v. Ensure that adequate, effective and prompt reparation, including adequate compensation, proper medical care and rehabilitation, is granted to the victim;
vi. Guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with international human rights standards.
- President of the Republic, Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Fax: +202 390 1998, E-mail: [email protected];
- Egyptian Public Prosecutor, Counsellor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud Abdel Meguid, Dar al Qadha al-"Ali, Ramses Street, Cairo, Egypt, Via facsimile: + 20 2 2577 4716;
- Minster of Interior, Minister Habib Ibrahim El Adly, Ministry of the Interior, 25 Al-Sheikh Rihan Street, Bab al-Louk, Cairo, Egypt, Fax: +20 22 796 0682 Email: [email protected] or [email protected];
- Egyptian Minister of Health, Dr. Hatem Mostafa El-Gabaly, Address : 3 Magless El Shaab st., Fax: + 202 27953966;
- Chair of Egyptian Medical Syndicate, Prof. Hamdi el Sayed, Fax: + 20 22 795 9311
Email: [email protected];
- National Council for Human Rights, Ambassador Mokhless Kotb, Secretary General
Please also write to the embassies of Egypt in your respective country.
Geneva, 28 May 2009
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
1. Aboul Fotouh Mohamed Abou El Yazid Aboul Fotouh
2. Ahmed Hassanen Ahmed Hegazi, Arabic Teacher
3. Ahmed Abdel Fattah Abdel Aziz El Sammad, electric engineer
4. Ahmed Ali Hussein Eid
5. Ahmed Ali Ghoneim Wahba, employee in real state tax collection department
6. Osama Mohamed Ibrahim Soliman, engineer
7. Ashraf Mohamed Nagib El Kateb
8. Khaled Mahmoud Meligi Ali, teacher
9. Said Mabrouk El Sayed Ahmed, engineer
10. Sayed Hassan Salem El Bakatouchi, agricultural engineer
11. Abdel Hakim Abdel Raouf Hassan Soliman
12. Ali Anwar Nasr
13. Ali Abdel Fattah Mohamed El Sheikha, engineer
14. Emad Mohamed Fathi Abdel Hafez, technical secondary school teacher
15. Mohamed Ahmed Abdel Mawogoud Mohamed, lab technician in secondary school
16. Mohamed El Esawi El Zahabi, former military officer
17. Mohamed Hassan El Sayed Abou Hassan, secondary school teacher
18. Mohamed Hassan Mahmoud El Sakhawy, teacher
19. Mohamed Abdel Hakim Abdel Rashid Abdel Moawad
20. Mohamed Abdel Monem Ibrahim Zeidan
21. Mohamed Mohamed Ismail El Erian, teacher
22. Mohamed Mamdouh Ali Salman, pathology lab technician
23. Mohamed Abdel Nazir Mohamed Etman
24. Hani Mohamed Gaber El Bakatouchi, math teacher
25. Ali Ahmed Nasr (not originally in arrest warrant)