Torture in Egypt Culprits without punishment

Torture in Egypt Culprits without punishment


Torture in Egypt is no ordinary crime committed by policemen in police stations and prisons. Rather, in the last few years torture has become a practice which must be confronted in order to find effective and rapid solutions to it. It has become a systematic, deliberate and widespread policy implemented by police during interrogations with individuals charged with, or suspected of, offences during the first stages of inquiries in police stations. It is not only political detainees and opponents who are tortured: the practice has spread, and is used against ordinary, non-political, individuals.

A group of legislative, procedural and security factors have created an environment ripe for the spread of torture, and the hands of torture victims are tied when it comes to bringing direct cases: the only course of action open to them is to seek civil compensation. Criminal and disciplinary action against the perpetrators of torture is merely notional, and only applied in practice within the strictest of limits. Article 232(2) of the Criminal Procedures Code does not allow plaintiffs to bring a direct case where the case concerns a public employee, public official or police officer who it is alleged committed a crime during the course of his duties or that he is the alleged reason for the occurrence of the offence .

Perpetrators of torture are thus shielded from accountability for acts of torture. These acts, documented in EOHR reports, constitute serious, physical torture: torture which leaves a mark on the victim’s body or leads to his death. There are various and common forms of non-physical torture such as verbal insults, smacks, detention for hours on end – or even days – without a basis in law and attacks on dignity all of which are forms of torture not included in EOHR’s reports or complaints sent to it.

EOHR has closely monitored torture since the Organization was formed in 1985 and places this crime at the head of the violations it monitors. It does this by holding seminars, discussions and workshops with human rights specialists and experts, and jurists. The aim of these activities is to raise public awareness of the gravity of torture, formulate recommendations to put an end to torture, issue a comprehensive report on the shortcomings in counter-torture legislation and laws which lay down punishment for the perpetrators of torture and prepare a draft law for the amendment of domestic counter-torture laws.

In 2003 EOHR launched its campaign against torture in Egypt which made clear that torture occurs on a routine and on systematic basis – and which therefore calls for a strong, legislative response. In answer to this EOHR held several workshops in 2003, out of which came the proposal for a draft law for the amendment of certain legislative provisions on torture in the Penal Code and Criminal Procedures Code. This draft law focused on the following points:
The definition of torture under Egyptian law and its amendment to bring the definition in line with the 1986 Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) ratified by Egypt, with the aim of ensuring that perpetrators of torture do not escape justice.
Punishment for torture must be made heavier, and clemency must not be shown nor mitigating circumstances be allowed to lighten sentences.
The right of victims of torture to bring direct criminal cases against their torturers must be laid down.
The draft law proposes (by way of example) the amendment of articles 126, 129 and 280 of the Penal Code and articles 63 and 232 of the Criminal Procedures Code.

EOHR also issued a report on torture since 1990, which contained recommendations for the Egyptian authorities encouraging them to put into effect legislative and practical measures to put an end to torture and mistreatment inside police stations and places of detention. EOHR has submitted three reports to the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva, the last of which was a joint report with OMCT (the World Organization Against Torture) issued in 2002.

Through its reports EOHR has arrived at a bundle or important recommendations the most significant of which are the following:

1. Torture occurs in a reoccurring and organised manner in police station and places of detention throughout Egypt, from Alexandria to Aswan.
2. Failure to investigate claims of torture and illegal detention results in those responsible for these crimes escaping punishment.
3. People are arrested randomly and assaulted in an attempt to make them confess information about events which they know nothing about, merely because they are related to a suspect.
4. Sufficient grounds justifying the detention of individuals are not provided, as is required under article 35 of the Criminal Procedures Code.
5. The definition of torture in Egyptian legislation suffers from significant shortcomings and is not in line with article 2 of the CAT.
6. Victims of torture are denied the right to bring direct cases against the police officers who have tortured them – which contributes to the spread of torture and the escape from justice.

EOHR has documented 567 cases of torture inside police stations in its annual reports (1993 – 2007). In 167 of these cases the victim died, and EOHR strongly suspects that these deaths were the result of torture and mistreatment. These cases are merely a limited sample drawn from hundreds of other cases received by EOHR. They merely give an indication of the extent to which torture has spread in police stations throughout Egypt, and illustrate the extent to which legislative shortcomings ensure that perpetrators escape justice and are not brought to account for their crimes.

Cases of torture and deaths caused by torture between 1993 and 2007


Deaths caused by torture

Cases of torture

















































So far in 2007 EOHR has monitored 26 cases of torture. In three of these cases the victim involved died. The majority of these cases occurred in July 2007, when ten cases of torture and one death inside a police station. These cases include those of Yehya Abdallah Attoum who was burnt inside Siwa police station, and Nasr Ahmed Abdallah el-Saidi, who died after he was dragged along the ground and beaten by police forces based in the Mansoura police station.

These cases illustrate what has previously been stressed by EOHR: a group of legal, procedural and security factors contribute, in one way or another, to the creation of an environment ripe for the spread of torture in Egypt both on the legislative level and in terms of the connivance of security bodies.

The most significant of these factors is the continuing state of emergency, in force since 1981, articles 126, 129 and 282 of the Penal Code and articles 62 and 232 of the Criminal Procedures Code. Torture is now daily committed in a systematic, routine and organised manner on a widespread scale inside police stations, state security headquarters and prisons either to obtain confessions from suspects themselves or from their relatives where the suspect is at large. It is also used to terrorise individuals into giving testimonies against others. Large numbers of people have died under torture.

This report, Torture in Egypt…culprit without punishment contains the following sections:

Section one: the legislative and legal structure governing the crime of torture in Egypt This section deals with the most important international instruments on torture as well as provisions under the Egyptian Constitution and Penal Code criminalising torture.

Section two: cases of torture in 2007. The most significant cases of torture monitored by EOHR during the course of 2007 are presented.

Section three: Conclusion and recommendations.

Section one

The legislative and legal structure governing the crime of torture in Egypt

Torture is one of the most serious human rights violations, and for that reason the international community has placed particular importance on this violation. It was therefore natural that the CAT would be drawn-up. In this section a general survey of the most important human rights instruments will be presented with a focus on those dealing with torture.

1. International instruments

The provisions of international human rights instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the CAT include a large number of articles on torture, ending torture and its criminalisation. Article 3 of the 1948 UDHR provides that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” while its article 5 states that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Article 7 of the ICCPR provides that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” while its article 10(1) states, “all persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.” Article 2 of the CAT obliges each State Party to take “effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.” Article 12 provides that “each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction” and article 13 states:

Each State Party shall ensure that any individual who alleges he has been subjected to torture in any territory under its jurisdiction has the right to complain to and to have his case promptly and impartially examined its competent authorities. Steps shall be taken to ensure that the complainant and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of his complaint or any evidence given.

Article 2(2) of the CAT provides that “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.” Paragraph 3 of the same article states that “an order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.” Article 15 states that “each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made.” Article 3 of Geneva Convention criminalises violence to life and person, cruel treatment and torture and outrages upon personal dignity in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.

2. The Egyptian Constitution

Egypt took part in the drafting of the UDHR and signed it on 10th December 1948. It acceded to the ICCPR in 1981 and signed the Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 1965 and signed the Geneva Convention in August 1949. Under article 161 of the 1971 Egyptian Constitution these treaties and international instruments ratified by Egypt are incorporated into Egyptian domestic law.

Other articles of the Constitution criminalise torture. Article 40 states that “all citizens are equal before the law. They have equal public rights and duties without discrimination due to sex, ethnic origin, language, religion or creed” while article 41 provides:

Individual freedom is a natural right not subject to violation except in cases of flagrante delicto. No person may be arrested, inspected, detained or have his freedom restricted in any way or be prevented from free movement except by an order necessitated by investigations and the preservation of public security. This order shall be given by the competent judge or the Public Prosecution in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Article 57 provides:

Any assault on individual freedom or on the inviolability of the private life of citizens and any other public rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the law shall be considered a crime, whose criminal and civil lawsuit is not liable to prescription. The State shall grant a fair compensation to the victim of such an assault.

As regards to secondary legislation, there is no definition of torture in Egyptian criminal law but a group of laws have put in a place a legislative framework for the protection of citizens from torture. This framework includes the Penal Code no. 158 [1937] whose article 126 criminalises public servants who torture a suspect in order to induce him to confess. The article states that “any public employee or servant who orders that a person accused of a crime be tortured, or who himself carries out the torture in order to extract a confession will be punished by hard labour or imprisonment for between three and ten years. If the victim dies the punishment laid down for murder will be applied.”

Article 127 of the Penal Code states that “any public employee or servant any anyone entrusted with public service who deliberately uses force relying on his position in such as a manner as to offend his dignity or cause bodily pain will be punished by a period of imprisonment not exceeding one year or a find not exceeding two hundred pounds.” Article 282 of the Penal Code provides that “

Section two:

Torture in 2007: Case studies

In issuing this report EOHR is exposing the gravity of the problem of torture in Egypt and the extent to which it represents a flagrant violation of the rights to life, to freedom, to personal security and to bodily security, and destroys the lives of its victims. This is in violation of the role laid down for the police in the Constitution and Egyptian law, and is incompatible with the duties of the police described in international human rights instruments which lay down rules governing the behaviour of public servants charged with applying the law adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979.

Listed below are some of the cases documented by EOHR in 2007.

1. Set fire to Yahya Abdallah Attoum inside Siwa Oasis police station

On the 3rd July 2007 it was discovered that electrical cables had been stolen. At the time 19-year old Yahya Abdallah Attoum was in Alexandria, and his father telephoned him to inform him that a force from police investigations had been to the house looking for him. This prompted Attoum to return to Siwa in order to inquire as to why he had been summoned by the police. He went to the police station on the 9th July 2007, and was received by police officer Alaa Moussa from whom he discovered that he had been accused of the theft of the cables by certain individuals. When Attoum denied this, Moussa ordered investigating officer Qadry to hang Attoum from a door. He was left hanging for nearly a quarter of an hour before he was blindfolded and thrown on the ground and then beaten on the feet. Electricity was then applied to his penis, and white spirit poured on his left arm and set alight by Qadry. Attoum was then asked by officer Mohamed el-Khadragy if he had committed the crime of theft, and he again denied it. White spirit was then poured all over his body, some of which entered his eyes, causing him to scream with pain. Qadry took off the blindfold and poured water over his face. El-Khadragy levelled the accusations against Attoum, who again denied them, and the officer lit a cigarette lighter and threatened to set Attoum alight. At that moment Attoum’s body burst into flames, and Qadry quickly grabbed a fire blanket. A doctor then arrived to treat Attoum, but recommended that he be taken somewhere immediately because of the seriousness of his burns. He was taken by taxi to a hospital in Alexandria for treatment where he spent roughly ten days. A police officer then demanded that he leave the country and papers were prepared for him by an investigating officer. He was taken to Libya, where he telephoned his brother and told him what had happened to him. His brother brought him back to Egypt and took him to the el-Salloum border post because of his critical state of heath and in order to make a complaint about what happened.

2. Moustafa Bakry Mohamed Suleiman

While Moustafa Bakry Mohamed Suleiman was in Alexandria finishing up procedures surrounding his completion of army service certificate he received a telephone call from his family informing him that officers from the Siwa police station had searched the house and asked about his whereabouts. Suleiman went to the police station to discover why, and was accused of stealing electrical cables. When he denied this his hands were tied behind his back and he was hung from a door in the investigations unit before his lower right leg was burnt, he was beaten with a bamboo switch and he was electrocuted in various parts of his body. These injuries were documented when he was brought before the public prosecution office and he was sent to the forensic doctor.

3. Ahmed Ibrahim Senwessy

On 7th July 2007 Ahmed Ibrahim Senwessy was arrested in his home and accused of the theft of electrical cables. He denied all knowledge of the incident, prompting policemen and investigation officers from the Siwa police station to tied his hands and feet and hang him from a door in the investigations unit. He was then hit and beaten with a bamboo stick and electrocuted in various part of his body. This was documented during his appearance before the public prosecution office and he was brought before the forensic doctor.

4. Nasr Ahmed Abdallah el-Saidi: tortured to death in Mansoura police station

On 31st July 2007 el-Saidi, from the village of Telbana, was confronted with a group composed of a policeman, an investigating officer and two members of security personnel from the Mansoura police station storming his brother’s house. They assaulted his wife and five daughter and insulted them verbally. When el-Saidi asked the policemen the reason for this assault and they discovered that he was the brother, they beat him and subjected him to a stream of insults. Officer Mohamed Moawwad hit him on the head with the back of his revolver and threw him against the wall several times. His hands were tied and beating continued. He was then dragged while unconscious from in front of his house to a microbus . He was taken to the police station and two hours later lawyers arrived to inquire after him, but the head of investigations denied that he was in the police station. He was discovered close to death underneath a desk in the police station. The lawyers tried unsuccessfully to revive him and so they immediately took him to hospital. He was taken to the Mansoura casualty department where doctors diagnosed a brain haemorrhage requiring immediate surgery. He was operated on, but died 24 hours later. Residents of Telbana erupted in fury, and some 25 police cars surrounded and closed off the hospital and ordered the closure of shops after clashes between residents and security forces led to their using truncheons, teargas and smoke bombs which led to the asphyxiation of tens of people. Nobody was allowed to enter or leave the village and more than 13 people were arrested and taken to Mansoura police station. A security presence remained in the village until after the victim had been buried.

The public prosecution office had previously began investigations. It ordered the forensic doctor to carry out an autopsy in order to discover the cause of death. The initial report revealed that injuries to the right-side of the head which had caused a brain bleeding on the surface of, and inside, the brain leading to pressure on the vital centres in it which proved fatal.

5. Ismail Moustafa Ali

On 7th July 2007 lieutenant Mohsen Abdallah from the Ismaileya police station ordered that Ali close his shop without giving reasons for this demand. When Ali refused, he was hit on the head by the police officer who used his gun causing a scalp wound which led to his losing consciousness. He was taken to the Ismaileyya general hospital. Ali and some of his relatives were then themselves charged with assaulting the police officer and he was brought before the public prosecution office which requested a forensic medical report. His injuries were documented and he was released

6. Ali Mahmoud Abdel Aziz and Osama Mahmoud Abdel Aziz

Ali and Osama Mahmoud Adel Aziz are serving a five year imprisonment in the Hadeyek el-Qobba police station . On 10th May 2007 they were reporting to the police station when they noticed that another man on probation was suffering from Tuberculosis. They asked the police officer on duty to release them, fearing that they would be infected with the disease and were beaten by officers Khaled Nabil and Mohamed Abdo and some other policemen. Ali and Osama were handcuffed behind their backs, punched and kicked and beaten with a stick which caused the following injuries:

. Ali Mahmoud Abdel Aziz

Bruising and swelling all over the body A broken nose Bruises at to the left leg A large wound to the left side of the stomach A wound inside the mouth Injuries to the forearm caused by being handcuffed from behind the back

. Osama Mahmoud Abdel Aziz

Two broken toes in the left foot Broken heel in the left foot Injuries to the forearm caused by being handcuffed
Bruising all over the body

The two men’s family filed a case with the Cairo Security Directorate on 10th May 2007, but were surprised with a case brought against them accusing the men of using a knife against a policeman inside the police station. They were brought before the public prosecution office which sent him to the forensic doctor in order to document their injuries.

7. Abdel Wahab Hussein Ali Hammad

On 30th May 2007 a force from the Beni Mohamedeyaat (Assiut) police checkpoint led by Captain Ibrahim Abdel Azim, head of the checkpoint, arrested Hammad and took him to the checkpoint. He was detained there in order to make him sign a report of possessing agricultural land which belongs to the brother of mentioned man. Hammad refused to sign the document.

According to the complaint submitted by the family, Hammad was hit in the face, kidneys and stomach and lost consciousness. He was taken to the Abnoub Central Hospital in order to save his life but died, his family claims as a result of what he had been subjected to. His family have filed a case.

8. Mahmoud Ali el-Sayyed el-Ghamary

On 11th June 2007 at around 8 a.m. three investigating officers (Nasser Zaky Abdel Rahman, Abdel Moneim Abdel Hamid Khalil and Badr Mohamed Abdel Ghaffar) from the 2nd police station in 10th Ramadan City stormed his house. The officers punched and kicked el-Ghamary and hit him using a metal stick all over his body and pushed him into a glass cupboard which resulted in him suffering a deep injuries .

9. Wael Salah Ali Mohamed

On 7th May 2005 Mohamed was arrested and taken to the East Qantara police station by officer Emmad Abdel Fatah, head of East Qantara investigations, and an investigations officer called Khalil who searched, harassed and humiliated Mohamed every time he encountered him. Mohamed was charged with possession of a firearm.

Fifteen days after being arrested, his family noticed injures to his stomach, head and other parts of his body when they visited him. These injuries were caused by the torture inflicted by investigating officer Khalil and others acting under the supervision of the head of investigations. Their pistol whipped Mohamed in the stomach and on the head as well as verbally insulting him with foul language in order to humiliate him. They also insulted his mother and threatened to kill Mohamed if he did not work as an informer for them.

10. Mohamed Hassan el-Sayyed Diab

In January 2007 EOHR received a complaint from Diab in which he described how, on 30th November 2006 while he was going to the Benha Supreme Appeals Court in order to attend a court hearing, he was stopped on the stairs inside the court building by an investigations officer named Ihab Tadriss from the transfers division of the Qalyoubiyya Security Directorate and four other individuals from the same division. He was prevented from entering the courtroom despite the fact that they knew he was a party to the case being heard there. While trying to enter the courtroom he was punched in the face and in other areas of his body by Tadriss, who knew that Diab suffers from 90% paralysis in his legs.

When Diab attempted to submit a complaint about Tadriss he was threatened by members of security forces present in the court.

11. Mohamed Hussein Ahmed Hussein

On 31st December 2004 Hussein was arrested on drug charges and brought before the public prosecution office which decided to detain him in custody during the course of investigations. He was detained for two days in the Borg el-Arab Prison until his release on 1st July 2007.

When he was transferred from Borg el-Arab Prison to the El Dekhila police station – in order to complete release procedures on 31st January 2007 – he was illegally detained and taken to the Counter-Narcotics Division of the Alexandria Security Directorate where he was detained for other four days .

While in the custody of the Counter-Narcotics Division Hussein was tortured by General Tareq Ismail, Lieutenant Colonels Ahmed Walid Othman, Mohamed Fawzy, Medhat El-Serafy and Ahmed Oraby. He was not given food or anything to drink, his hands and feet were bound with metal restraints and chains throughout his detention and he was verbally insulted, punched and kicked all over his body.

On the fourth day of his detention a number of attorney generals from the el-Leban Public Prosecution Office received a complaint from the family of Walid Yehya Abdel Halim after they knew that Walid was detained without reason ,they submit a report No.1082 -2007 and he was released .

Action taken by the family: On 7th March 2007 the mentioned man submit a complaint to EOHR concerning the torture crime without reason .

Action taken by EOHR: EOHR received a complaint from the family of the mentioned man and immediately it lodged a complaint to the Attorney General and the Interior Ministry

12. Omar Abdel Moezz Abdel Hakim Hamam

On 15th May 2007 EOHR received a complaint from Hamam stating that on 1st May 2007 while he was in a café in Luxor’s Market Street, a man approached him and told Hamam that he was from the Luxor Investigations Section and asked him for a piece of ID. He took him to assistant investigations officer Rafat Rashwan who verbally insulted him and punched him in the back several times as well as in other parts of the body. He was taken to Luxor police station and detained there until he was brought before the public prosecution office where he discovered that he was charged with street peddler The public prosecution office ordered that he be released on bail.

Upon returning to the police station to collect his belongings the assistant investigations officer refused to give them to Hamam, who also feared that charges would be fabricated against him.

13. Ali Abdel Ghany Mohamed el-Sayyed

On 6th June 2007 EOHR received a complaint from el-Sayyed who stated that on 6th May 2007 a fight broke out and a force from the el-Mahmoudeyya police station (Beheira) led by Major Reda Mohamed El-Homs arrived, accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel Abdel Aziz Terabiss and other officers who attempted to break up the fight.

El-Sayyed was attacked by Terabiss who hit him using a wooden stick breaking his left leg. He fell to the ground and Terabiss and others dragged him to a police vehicle where he was taken, with others involved in the fight, to the el-Mahmoudeya police station. He was treated roughly and his request to be taken to the public hospital for treatment refused. In an attempt to be taken to a doctor he was convinced to sign a dossier without knowing its contents.

He was taken to the public prosecution office before being released on his resident guarantee and the case was shelved. El-Sayyed presented a complaint to the el-Mahmoudeya public prosecution office requesting an inquiry into Terabiss and the assault he committed against him.

14. Seif el-Nasr Mohamed Abu Zeid

In January 2007 EOHR received complaints from Abu Zeid in which he stated that on 11th November 2006 a force from the investigations division of the Meet Ghamr police station burst into his home. Members of the force searched the house, destroying its contents in the process and arrested Abu Zeid who was taken to the police station. He was detained there unlawfully for three days and during this period beaten and tortured after he refused to sign certain papers. He was subjected to the following treatment:

His hands were tied behind his back
Punched and kicked all over his body
Beaten with a stick
Given electric shocks all over his body
Denied food and water
Kept in metal restraints for three days

15. Fekry Mohamed Abbass

On 18th March 2007 EOHR received a complaint from Abbass in which he stated that on 13th March 2007 a force from the el-Waraq police station led by one officer Karim and composed of eight people including a policeman called Mohamed Gamal and an investigating officer called Gergess. The force stormed the house and damaged its contents and verbally and physically abusing Abbass and his wife Hanan Ezzet Mohamed and his eldest daughter Rahma Fekry Mohamed, who were stripped of their clothes. The police force then handcuffed Abbass and took him to the police station where he was detained for a day before being brought before the public prosecution office the following day on charges of possessing two knives and five pieces of Cannabis.

According to Abbass’ complaint, he complained about the assault on him to the public prosecution office which released him on 201 LE bail. After he was released he returned home and found his wife and daughter in a state of extreme exhaustion. They had also been injured following the assault by officer Karim, policeman Mohamed Gamal and investigating officer Gergess during the raid on the house. Hanan Ezzet Mohamed had bruising to the left thigh, contusions to the left leg, bruising to the right thumb, bruising to the right leg and right thigh, inflammation between the knee and thigh and grazing to the back. Rahma Fekry Mohamed suffered red graze marks to the right and left thighs.

Abbass and his wife went to the police station on 17th March 2007 to file a complaint. The head of investigations sent the wife and daughter to el-Haram hospital for medical examination of their injuries.

16. Fares Terhy Sergious

On 21st March 2006 at around 7 a.m. while Fares Terhy Sergious was on his way back from work he was stopped at a police checkpoint in front of el-Banouk Street in Sharm el-Sheikh. The policeman at the checkpoint asked him for his driving licence and proof of identity, which he then handed to the officer in charge. This officer asked Sergious about what he did for a living, to which Sergious informed him that he was a drummer. The officer, Hany Yousry, then insulted him and assaulted him, causing Sergious to pass out. When he regained consciousness Yousry and four other policemen including one named Khamiss assaulted him again. They kicked and punched Sergious, denigrated him with foul language and hit him all over his body using a stick. The assault resulted in Sergious suffering, a broken nose, inflammation of the testicle, extreme exhaustion all over his body.

Sergious presented many complaints to the President of the Republic and Sharm el-Sheikh police station but received no response. He was also put under pressure to accept a settlement using both coercion and threats. EOHR sent complaints to both the Attorney General and the Interior Minister.

17. Mohamed Abdel Raheem Abdel Gawwad el-Fiqy

On 18th April 2007 EOHR received a complaint from el-Fiqy in which he stated that on 15th April 2007 while he was working (as a scrap metal collector) in the village of el-Delgahoun in the district of Sahareeg el-Miyya, six investigating officers from the Kafr el-Zeyyat police station stopped him and assaulted him. They punched and kicked him all over his body. Investigating officer Sobhy hit him using a wooden stick and he and another officer tied a thick piece of rope around el-Fiqy’s neck which they then proceeded to pull from both ends.

Investigating officer Ali Abu el-Laban thrust a finger in el-Fiqy’s right eye. He was taken to Kafr el-Zayyaat police station where he was assaulted by officer Ihab Shams and five other individuals inside the police station. He was hung upside down by the feet using a rope attached to a wooden stick and given electric shocks in the toes which resulted in blue swell under the right eye beside red colour and blood assembled in eye , thrombus wounds around neck, swell on back under the right shoulder, bruises and redness on both legs and parallel red lines on the left shoulder .

Mohamed Rabie Ahmed Abdel Raheem

On 9th September 2006 Abdel Raheem was arrested by officer Mohamed el-Sawy, head of investigations in Minya and a force accompanying him composed of colonel Eilag Galal and officer Mohamed el-Meleigy. He and his three brothers were taken to the Minya police station and charges of the theft of telephone cables fabricated against him. He was brought before the public prosecution office on the 2nd November 2006, and released, only to then by taken to the Samaloot police station and from there to the Minya police station, where he was released on the same day.

While in Minya police station officer el-Sawy tortured Abdel Raheem by insulting him, giving him electric shocks and hanging him in an attempt to make him to confess to possessing weapons unlawfully. EOHR sent complaints to Attorney General and the Interior Minister.

18. Mohamed Mostafa Abdel Naby el-Ayyouty

On 11th April 2007 el-Ayyouty (born 1951, retired from the army) and his son Fawzy were arrested at home by a force from the Zagazig police station composed of seven people and led by police officer Mohamed Samir. The arrest followed a fight between Mohamed el-Ayyouty and his eldest son Eid. The two were taken to Zagazig police station where they were tortured by Samir, an officer named Abdallah Shaheen and others. They were punched and kicked and taken to the highest roof in the police station and stripped of their clothes. The assault resulted in bruising. On 13th April 2007 he was brought before the public prosecution office on charges of possessing a knife, and was released during the course of investigations.

EOHR sent complaints to the Attorney General, and the Interior Minister.

19. Mohamed Ahmed el-Abd Ahmed

On 6th May 2007 EOHR received a complaint from Ahmed according to which on the 28th April 2007 while he was in his car in the area of the Asmant Bridge, Nagaa Asmant, he was stopped by two officers called Mostafa and Moataz from the investigations unit of the Naqada police station on claims that the car he was driving was stolen – despite the fact that the policemen had seen the car documents and driving licence. Ahmed was punched and kicked and a cigarette extinguished on the back of his left hand. This treatment caused bruising, and a minor burn on his hand.

He was detained in the police station until 30th April 2007 and immediately upon his release Ahmed went to the public prosecution office in order to present a complaint about the detention and torture.

 20. Mohamed Nabawy Abdel Hafeez

EOHR received a complaint from Abdel Hafeez on 15th January 2007 according to which on 10th January 2007, while he was in Bartass in an area near his home he was arrested by members of a force from the Awseem investigations unit who took him to the police station and detained him illegally. According to Abdel Hafeez’s family, when they went to the police station to inquire after him they saw an ambulance heading to the police station to take away someone who had died inside it, and learnt that this someone was their son. When they collected the body they discovered that it bad marks of face, inflammation of the head and contusions all over the body. The family strongly suspect that his death was caused by torture at the hands of the head of investigations within the police station and his assistants.

21. Ahmed Hassan Fouad

On 11th January 2007 EOHR received a complaint from Fouad according to which, in November 2006 a force from Minya el-Basal police station arrested him and took him to the police station where he was detained on the basis of a three years prison sentence issued in absentia while all the necessary procedures were carried out.

According to the complaint Fouad’s sister was unable to visit him during his period of detention until the very end, when she discovered that he had been beaten and tortured by investigations officers causing him to lose consciousness. He did not receive the necessary medical attention and died on 23rd December 2006. It was alleged that he had hanged himself inside the police station and the public prosecution office decided to send the body for an autopsy before it was buried.

Section Three

Conclusion and recommendations

Relating to what mentioned above, torture has become a wide phenomena occurred inside police stations, the premises of state security investigation and prison to get information from criminal individuals or suspected people who are accused of committing crime or from suspected relatives. Torture crimes occur in Egyptian street in broad daylight, in front of ambushes and citizens’ houses in clear violation to their freedom which was guaranteed by the Constitution and the International covenants for human rights .

Emergency law which Egypt has been suffering since 1981 is the main reason for the spreading of the torture phenomena, besides, the lack of legislation inability and preventing victims to stand before judiciary. The concept of legitimacy was lost in vain due to work with old laws and modernize some laws with exceptional nature and being included to legislation structure. Some policemen committed violations against citizens” rights at the absence of law without taking any action and gives it a legislative nature and this means that the criminals have escaped from penalties.

EOHR confirms that the Government should have a political will to set account with culprits.

In regards to what mentioned above, EOHR sent many recommendation reports to the Egyptian authorities aimed at taking procedures to get rid of torture crime since its first report in 1990. EOHR recalls its demands to the Government for carrying out its recommendations presented before as follows :

. The Interior Minister shouldn’t cover torture crimes occurred inside police stations and Egyptian prisons and he should take procedures to question the indicators of officers and corporals .
. The Egyptian Government has to ratify on the two declarations mentioned in articles 21-22 of UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) and to decide the complaints presented by individuals or states concerning the violations of the mentioned convention from the Government.
. Amending the term of Article 126 to cope with the text of first Article of the UNCAT which was ratified by Egypt .
. Taking a decision on the previous project presented by EOHR concerning amending some law texts related to torture crime in both of Penal Code (126-129-280) and Criminal Procedures Law ( 232-63).
. Issuing law stipulated by the judiciary and subordinate the police system to Justice Ministry. This system will undertake the judiciary seizure actions and other tasks help to implement rules.
. Issuing a legislation recognizing the right of civil complainant to stand before Criminal Court in crimes of private life aggression including crimes in Article 126 of the Penal Code which penalizes anyone who tortured a suspect to get information and Articles 282-280 which penalize for arresting without reason.
. Canceling law No.121 1956 related to Article 63 from Criminal Procedures law which confines the right of bringing suit against public employees like police officers in public prosecution; and returning back to the old law which granted to the complainant, the right of direct prosecution .
. Ratifying the alternative protocol related to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Right in order to allow the involved Committee for Human Rights to receive the individual complaints related to violate this covenant.
. Ratifying the alternative protocol of UNCAT 2002 which allows international independent experts to organize periodical visits to detention camps and performing a national mechanism for organizing these visits and to cooperate with international experts .
. Looking into Criminal Procedures law to give the suspect the right of deputizing lawyer during the investigation in the police station .
. Public prosecution must perform an immediate investigation in reports presented by authorities and individuals and human rights organizations concerning the aggression against detainees in confinement places and prisons and declaring the results of these investigations.
. Public prosecution has to perform a periodical inspection on police stations and confinement places to recognize illegal situations and seize the tools used in torture crimes and question the perpetrators .
. Performing an administrative investigation parallel to the public prosecution on policemen who have committed crimes against citizens in police stations.
. Establishing investigation mechanism include judges, lawyers and doctors to check all torture crimes occurring in prisons, send these officials to the court and to enter all places of confinement besides meeting any individual and get information to be aware of torture phenomena in order to put an end for this crime.
. Putting fixed measurements and controls to monitor the performance of policemen especially for investigation officers. These measurements are independent without violating the rights of citizens.
. Preparing intellectual courses for officers who work in criminal investigation concerning the way they should use to treat prisoners in prisons and confinement places in accordance with respecting citizens and their rights which was guaranteed by the Constitution and by the International covenants that was ratified by Egypt.
. Authorities should work with human rights organizations and investigate on reports presented by these organizations to General Attorney besides supporting them with information and investigation results and help their delegates to visit prisons and confinement places and police stations .