Torture and impunity in Egypt

June 19th, 2010 by Editor

Hafez Abu Seada

Torture and impunity in Egypt

While the Egyptian delegation had submitted the final report before UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on the file of human rights, Alexandria governorate witnessed a heinous torture crime ended with the murder of Khaled Said who  was in an internet café like anyone else in Sidi Gaber area, most probably he was taking or chatting via  the internet and of course this is a legal act,  suddenly investigation force including  police officers and police corporals  entered to the internet café, they called people to show  their IDs and they investigated them, all these acts consider illegal but we get used to these acts as a result of imposing the state of emergency for years, it is well-known axiom for anyone studied law that stopping people for search requires evidences on committing a crime and it considers the first stage for arrest, except for flagrant delicate, search became illegal because the competent authority didn’t issue permission, which means that the citizen protestation is a natural right, the important thing that anyone tried to protest – according to the witnesses – was subjected to assault in all forms.

The eye-witnesses said that he was assaulted and they hold his head and dragged him outside the internet café as an example to every one dares to object to  these violations, in the popular area the police officer is named as “the government”, he considers  himself ” the state’s representative and the executor of the law . After they get out the internet café they put khaled in the police’s car and the investigation force rode the car, then they returned back and through the corpse on the road. 

In fact, what  has happened is a full-fledged crime of torture in accordance with the Convention against Torture  ratified  by Egypt, of course, the government will come out with the fact that he was  a dangerous offender and he was already charged with crimes, please  you have to notice that “already charged with crimes” despite the fact that there are no decisions issued against him, even if he was charged with any crime, there is no justification to end his life so tragically.

This is due to many reasons, including  firstly :the lack of enough legal deterrence as most similar cases have a reduced decisions such as the case of Emad Al Kabeer who has been raped in Bolaque police station, the decision was sentencing the officer to 3 years imprisonment, after he finished the sanction period he returned back to his work. The message here is so clear “the absence of deterrence”, the definition of the Egyptian law for the crime of torture is contrary to the definition of the international Convention Against Torture, secondly the absence of the  culture of human rights for officials who are responsible for implementing the law, namely: police officers and public prosecutors and the definition of torture crime as it is a crime which doesn’t distinguish between a person and another.

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