Victims Imprisoned and Tormentors Released
El Nadim Center expresses its regret regarding the court sentence released by the Alexandria East Court, where three victims of police torture and violence were sentenced while torturers were released.
On the 16th of April 2007 the Alexandria East Court has ruled in the case no. 47678/2006 acquitting El Arabi Saleh Mohamed and Goma’a Abdel Moncef Ibrahim, both sergeants at the Baba Shark police station, accused of using violence, while sentencing victims Mohamed Abdel Aziz Abdel Fattah, Abdel Razik Abdel Aziz Abdel Fattah and Ahmed Ali Abdo, accused of resisting authorities, each to three months imprisonment and 100 LE fine.
The story dates back to the 15th of August 2005 when Goma’a and El Arabi stopped citizen Abdel Razik and beat him up in the middle of the street in El Hadra El Gadida. El Arabi shot three bullets, one of which hit Mohamed in his arm. Both sergeants then took Abdel Razik to the police station leaving Mohamed bleeding until he was found my his friend Ahmed Ali Abdo, who happened to be passing by. He carried him to the prosecution to document the case and have him referred to hospital. The prosecutor ordered Mohamed’s transfer to the hospital, which the then present police officer offered to do. But instead of taking him to hospital the officer drove both, the wounded Mohamed and his friend to the police station where, instead of treatment, they were subject to torture to force them to withdraw their complaint. Ahmed, in addition, was taken to the state security headquarters where he was subject to torture again.
Although the forensic report proved the injuries afflicted on Mohamed Abdel Aziz, Abdel Razik Abdel Aziz and Ahmed Ali, which included evidence of the gun shot that hit Mohamed in his arm. The forensic report also documented minor bruises on each of sergeants El Arabi Saleh and Goma’a Abdel Moncef, which the report explained as possible consequences of the victims’ attempt to defend themselves. The prosecution excluded the possibility of attempted murder and sent the case to court accusing all parties concerned. The court’s ruling included a prison sentence of three months to each of the three victims, a 200 LE bail and 501 LE temporary compensation to each of them.
El Nadim Center expresses its concern that courts, which victims reach with great difficulty, are no longer a resort for those seeking justice, but rather an additional source of punishment for those who dare complain about their torture by the police. At best the courts tend to acquit victims and tormentors. At worst, as in this case, they punish victims and release the torturers.