Postponing Khaled Said’s case to session 25th of September

July 28th, 2010 by Editor

On 27/7/2010 Alexandria Criminal Court heard the first session to trial police corporal and sergeant who are accused in Khaled Said’s case, lawyers team called the court for postponing the case to amend the provision and description of the accusation from “physical assault” to ” torture and premeditated murder” to combine articles” 126, 129 to conform with the first article of the Convention Against Torture  which was ratified by the Egyptian government in 1986 and became part and parcel from its interior law according to article 151 of the Constitution. The court decided to postpone the case to session 25th of September.

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, lawyer at court of cassation, chairman of EOHR  and member of the defense team, confirmed that the defense team called the court for postponing the case to amend the provision and description of the accusation to combine article 126 and 129 to conform with the first article of the Convention Against Torture, and to hear the witness of Sidi Gaber police officer and investigation assistants who attended the incident, and to discuss the first and second report of the forensic medicine  prepared by the triple committee, to discuss witnesses  for the defense and to hear the witness of ambulance driver and  those who are responsible for the morgue and to get a certificate from Alexandria public  hospital  stating the case of Khaled before entering it.

Mr. Abu Seada called for applying the Convention Against Torture on the case of Khaled Saied. pointing out to the fact that there is a legislative defect in defining the torture crime in the Egyptian legislation, as it is not convenient with the first article of  the Convention Against Torture, which defines the torture crime as “every pain or mental or bodily torture”, and it is not a condition to be limited to pulling out recognitions ,as the Egyptian legislation states. Consequently, Egyptian legislation has to amend articles no.126, 129 of the criminal law to be convenient with the international covenants, especially that article no.126 didn’t present a definition for the torture crime could be accepted or convenient with the Convention Against Torture.

Article no.126 of the criminal law is not convenient also with the international criminal legislation, which is stating that there should be a complete protection for the citizen against any mental or bodily torture. But the Egyptian legislation limited the concept of torture to the case of forcing suspects to confess. If torture committed by public official against suspect or innocent without intention to force him to confess , this is not considered torture according to Article 126.

Concerning the sanction which was stated in article no. 129 for the crime of usage of cruelty, it was not deterrent  sanction. In addition to that the crime of the article no.129 is only applicable if the  cruelty took the shape of the poor assault which didn’t reach to beating or injuring. But if the cruelty took the shape of assault, like the slight beating or injuring, without leading to a handicap, disease or inability to execute the personal duties for more than 20 days, the accused will be sentenced to a period not more than one year imprisonment, or a fine not more than 200 pounds. As if the criminal deed is executed from one citizen to another not from the authority representative to a citizen. 

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, chairman of EOHR, called the parliament for adopting a bill prepared by EOHR in 2003 on the amendment of some articles concerns with torture crime in the penal code ( articles No.126,129,280) and the criminal procedures code (63,232). He also added that the bill confirms the importance of the amendment of the definition of torture crime in the Egyptian law. The bill confirmed the amendment of the definition of torture crime to conform with  International Covenant Against Torture, in order to face the phenomenon of impunity, thickening the sanction against perpetrators, and not allowing using mercy and reduced conditions in the sanction.

He also suggested amending article No.126 of the penal code by adding definition of torture crime according to the provision of the International Covenant Against Torture, by adding a second paragraph includes forms of torture.

Abolish the paragraph which states that torture should be used in order to obtain confession from suspect. Purposes of obtaining information have been added, punishing the perpetrator of every act has been committed by him or suspected of committing it or frightening the victim or others or to force them to deliver themselves or any other purpose. Accomplices have been added to the perpetrator, if they facilitate the commitment of the crime or agree on committing it. Sanction has been aggravated by making the minimum limit five years imprisonment with labor, and murder premeditation if the suspect died. Using mercy or reduced sanction has been added to this crime. We suggest amending the sanction in article 129 which concerns with using cruelty by period not less than one year imprisonment.

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada has recommended the government on the necessity of ratifying on declarations which are previously mentioned in articles No.21,22 of the International Covenant Against Torture. Allowing the rapporteur against torture to visit Egypt. Lifting the state of emergency which is imposed since 1981 until now and returning back to the constitutional legitimacy.

It is worth noting that Khalid Said Mohamed-28 years old- was in the internet café-Cleopatra area-Alexandria governorate. While he was in the internet café, two detectives from Sidi Gaber’s police station have assaulted him, and drag him on the floor of the internet café the matter which led to his death. His family has submitted a report to the public prosecution, register under No.1545/2010. EOHR consolidates with his family from the beginning of the case until now.

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