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Prison torture claims are 'fabrications': Government official

Egyptian prisons are like hotels and claims of torture have nothing to do with reality or logic, says interior ministry official

Ahram Online, Wednesday 2 Jul 2014
Prison
(Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Allegations of torture and sexual assault inside Egyptian prisons have been dismissed as “fabrications” by an aide to the interior minister.

Widespread claims of physical assault and rape "have nothing to do with reality or logic,"Abdel-Fattah Osman, head of the ministry's public relations and media department, told ONTV satellite channel.

"All the incidents circulating on social media are presented to the minister," Osman said, "even those that are trivial, made up or have nothing to do with reality or logic."

Egyptian jails have become "like hotels," he added.

Allegations of torture inside prisons have increased since a security crackdown on supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and secular dissidents.

The interior ministry, which is responsible for the police, has regularly denied all allegations of mistreatment smuggled out of prisons and circulated on social media and news outlets.

"This talk did not spread until the imprisonment of political activists who are experienced in social media and the mechanisms of raising these topics," Osman said. He did not elaborate.

Osman said there was a disciplinary system applied to prisoners who violate the rules and any complaints can be voiced via legal channels.

A state human rights body, the National Council of Human Rights, has visited a number of prisons in the past weeks to check on the abuse allegations. They have not confirmed allegations of torture or sexual assault. Comments by some members of the body, carried on local media outlets, said prisoners complained about the schedule of visits and the lack of exercise time.

A report published last month by London-based human rights group Amnesty International said that torture in Egypt remained "endemic." The group said there were mounting reports of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees that "harken back to the most abusive periods under Hosni Mubarak." Some have forcibly disappeared in a military prison where they were tortured, including with electric shocks and being hung from doors, Amnesty said.

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very
03-07-2014 09:46am
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Rank prisons and give them a number of stars!
Wheels of justice in Egypt are slow and , at times, impotent. Result is extended stay in less than "comfortable" accommodation!. A speedy processing of cases and a proper conduct of a final sentence is the answer and not a drawn out discussion of the degree of comfort of a "hotel" called prison!
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5



Tony
03-07-2014 02:25am
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2+
5 stars!!!
Sometimes one cannot tell the difference between getting arrested and going on a vacation. Sometimes one gets confused whether they're at the Hilton or the prison.
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4



Mara
02-07-2014 10:58pm
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9+
Amnesty International is full of BS!
Amnesty International are hypocrites who only criticize governments USA doesn't like. They are not fair in their assessments of human rights, and are perpetual liars! Their only agenda in this case is to make Egypt look bad by telling lies! You don't hear them criticizing Western governments nearly as harshly.
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3



Egypt Libre
02-07-2014 08:05pm
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End the obscenity known as torture
The "official" who said that the claims are "fabricated" is delusional and should be fired immediately.
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2



carol
02-07-2014 03:50pm
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3+
prisons
Interior ministry lies...lies...lies
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1



Dr.Feelgood
02-07-2014 01:44pm
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15+
That's shure
Egyptian prisons are like hotels and Egyptian hospitals are like palaces! No one on earth will deny this.
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Ruth
02-07-2014 08:58pm
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5+
100% correct
Egyptian prisons are like hotels,Egyptian hospitals are like Palaces,Egyptians now living in heaven,Egyptian police are angels,Egyptian Judiciary is divine,Egyptian govt officials are saints,Egyptian Army is the guardian of universal human rights and values,Gen CC is the suppreme Guide of the contemprary world. While rest of the world are just idiots...
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