Egypt releases student after two years in jail, torture
|Wednesday, February 17,2010 13:10|
According to the blogger, Mohammed Maree, Elwi was “subjected during his period of detention to the worst kinds of torture and [he was] compelled to confess under pressure of beating that he is a witness to a group that included one of his cousins.”
According to reports, police were investigating the young man’s cousin, who had allegedly become involved with a group of militants looking to travel to Iraq in order to join the ranks of “Jihadists” in the country.
After Elwi’s time in Nasr City, he was then transported to Damanhour Prison, also in the Nile Delta some two hours north of Cairo. Maree said the prison is home to known members of extremist groups, “Islamic Jihadists [and] although Mohammed got more than 17 court verdicts for his release, none of them were implemented.”
Egypt’s ministry of interior employs a strategy that circumvents court rulings. Under the country’s controversial Emergency Laws, the ministry can imprison individuals for up to 15 days without being charged. Then, they can “re-arrest” those in detention for subsequent 15-day periods. Using this strategy, the ministry and state security forces have been able ignore court rulings by simply re-detaining citizens.
According to the blog, after meeting with the student’s family and publishing details of the case, Maree contacted a number of human rights organizations in Egypt, asking them to adopt the case and push for Elwi’s release.
“These organizations said that this case is one of the cases that would exceed red lines as it is a case of torture in police stations,” Maree wrote on his blog.
He said he was disappointed by the “negative responses of some organizations” and added that he believed there “are double standards in dealing with human rights issues” in Egypt.
As the leading voice for Elwi’s situation since his initial arrest in 2007, the family contacted Maree over the weekend to deliver the news that Elwi had been released.
Torture in Egyptian police stations and prisons is widely known and has been documented by a number of local and international human rights organizations as well as the media, including Bikya Masr.