• March 23, 2015
  • 4 minutes read

UNHRC Discusses Torture in Egypt Detention Centres

UNHRC Discusses Torture in Egypt Detention Centres

Today, the European Alliance for Human Rights (AED) attended the Human Rights Council at the UN in Geneva and presented a number of complaints regarding the torture of detainees and the numerous illegal detention centres in Egypt. Incidents of torture include the torture of minors, the application of electric shocks to sensitive body parts, hanging by the hands, blindfolding for several days and locking detainees in crammed cells. In addition, convicted criminal prisoners terrorised and abused political prisoners inside police stations – actions such as these are blatant violations of the Child Protection Convention as well as the Egyptian Child Law of 1996. As an example, 12 minors were kidnapped from their homes, held incommunicado for 4 days at Dikhila Police Station, handcuffed for days and subjected to electric shocks. They had no access to their lawyers or families for several days, and were further subjected to other forms of cruel and harsh mistreatment.

The AED delegation met with the special rapporteurs on torture, the UN working group on arbitrary detention (WGAD) an official from the UN High Commission for Human Rights. Within these meetings, they discussed the deteriorating human rights situation in Egypt and the widespread practice of torture and repression against minors. Also discussed, the astonishing rise in enforced disappearance cases during the last 4 months and the different forms of torture inflicted on the detainees during their disappearance that have been documented.

The AED delegation also handed over a complaint on the mistreatment of detainees in Borg Al-Arab Prison, which represents a flagrant violation of the United Nations standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners. It is worth mentioning that the special rapporteurs on torture issued a report this month that contained reference to the torture cases and mass death sentences in Egypt. The report called on the authorities to stop the implementation of 37 ratified death sentences and fully abolish the death penalty. The report also criticized Egypt’s failure to respond and investigate allegations of torture, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance and many other forms of punitive treatment, which also includes sexual harassment and the rape of 50 minors. Their rights of protection from torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment were violated as stated in articles (1) and (16) in the Convention against Torture.

The AED are holding discussions and meetings with the permanent diplomatic missions before the periodic review on Egypt on the 19th of March. During these meetings the AED held discussions on the deteriorating human rights situation in Egypt and expressed its growing fears over mass death sentences and the ongoing, shocking torture crimes and impunity. Moreover, AED renewed its call on organizations of the international community to condemn those violations and issue a recommendation to open an independent investigation in all crimes committed since 2011, and to review what has been achieved since the latest review in 2010. AED issued urgent calls over the importance of amending the protest law, non-governmental organizations law and punishment laws pertaining to pretrial detention, so that they may conform to the relevant international standards.

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