November 26th, 2013 by Editor
The Egyptian organization for Human Rights initiates the 5th workshop on Tuesday 26th November, to improve the skills of the Egyptian universities students, Activists, and the journalists in dealing with the crime of torture, and to build a network with the people interested in the torture case in Egypt, in an attempted to participate in the elimination process of this case which violates the simplest Egyptian human right.
Mr Tarek Zaghloul; executive manager of EOHR , has initiated the workshop by speaking about the crime of torture in the Egyptian legislation, pointing to the direction of the indicators of torture in Egypt which does not correspond with the international law of Human Rights limits of the state power on the individuals, which is more positive obligations towards the individuals, and the Egyptian government has already signed and ratified voluntarily those limits that recognize and guarantee the rights of every person, and subjected itself to the monitoring of the judicial or quasi-judicial institutions that accepts complaints from the individuals. However the legislative branch did not witness any legislative amendments to align with the new obligations, therefore the reason of this workshop is to discuss the crime of torture in the Egyptian legislation.
He added that despite the ban on the Egyptian Constitution for the crime of torture and the Egyptian ratification to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, there was not any evolution to the legislation to put certain measures or effective actions to protect the people from being subjected to torture and other cruel inhuman experiences, But rather the existing legislation and procedures unable to provide the complete protection to the people.
Mr Mohamed El-Badawy; unit manager of the field work in EOHR, spoke in the 2nd session about the crime of torture in the international conventions and agreements, noting that the international law definition of torture seems at the first glance a broad definition to comply with the ethical specificities of the different world’s countries, that it represents the minimum agreed principles between the contracting states and also it is in line with the practical necessities to get the most possible support from the states.
El-Badawy has added that the international charters and conventions have given the humans the right to live in freedom, safety, and protection from all the forms of torture and cruel treatment, and made everything related to the human life, safety of his body, and his right to live in freedom as peremptory norms may not be discarded internationally and nationally, that the membership of in the united nations complies the adherence to the provisions of the international conventions.
From his side, Karim Ali Hassan Abdeen, Researcher at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, has discussed the third topic, How to face the crime of torture that the existing legislation lacks one of the key elements which is a clear, precise, and consistent definition, which resulted in the difficulty to prove any case and thus the escape of those involved in the crime and its transformation from a rare and individual phenomenon into a prevail and spread phenomenon within the community with a sense of indifference to its penalty, it is normal that the burden of having a proof lies on the victim but it is difficult to prove since the one who committed the crime is a man of law, that the perpetrators of the crime are the police officers whom supposed to remove the threat, protect the citizens, and maintain their human dignity.
Abdeen has further added that the code of criminal procedure ignores in a dramatic way the procedures of proofing the crime of torture and also there is a clause (in the police commission law No.109 of 1971) No. 102, which gives the right to a police officer to use the force to perform his duties.
In addition the judicial pronouncements describe the crime of torture as the excessive use of cruelty, and also article 126 in the penalties law which is the legal basis for the crime of torture overlook the moral torture of the accused person which can lead to losing the humanitarian sense. Also the use of annoying means in the interrogations can be considered as a type of torture, when the torture reaches the families of the accused, which is the hardest type of torture.
Abdeen has further added the shortcomings of the legislative laws lies in the lack of an inclusive definition to the crime of torture, so it is advised to have a legal system for the crime of torture to fight this phenomenon such as drug offenses and rape and also include deterrent penalties, and the most important is the existence of a realistic proof procedures to make it easier for the victims to prove their cases and also the state should also declare its abandoning to the accused persons especially the members of the ministry of interior as they are committing this crime mostly.
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