Egyptian police torture 88, kill 34 under President Morsi: Rights report

Ahram Online , Monday 15 Oct 2012

Cairo-based rights outfit cites over 200 cases of police brutality - including killings, torture and kidnappings - during President Morsi's first 100 days in office

Confidence in Egypt's police has been erased by years of impunity and disregard for the rights of the people they are meant to protect (Photo: Reuters)

In a recent report published by the Cairo-based Nadim Centre for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, 34 cases of death, 88 cases of torture, and seven cases of sexual assault at the hands of Egyptian police were recorded during Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's first 100 days in office.

In the time period cited, the report recorded a total of over 247 cases of alleged police brutality.

The report states that at least 34 people were killed by police in police stations, prisons and in public areas. According to the report, the killings were generally the result of live ammunition used to disperse protesters.

The report also cites 88 cases of torture by police. The seven people that the report alleges were sexually assaulted by police during interrogation include a young man who filed a legal complaint against a police officer and was later threatened and subject to torture.

More than eight cases of the kidnapping of political activists were also recorded, several of whom were also allegedly subject to torture and abuse.

At least ten sit-ins were also reported to have been dispersed by force during Morsi's first 100 days as president, along with several cases of arbitrary arrest as was most recently seen during the 17 September Nile University sit-in.

Approximately ten police raids on homes and private property were also recorded by the centre, the most famous of which was a police raid in early August on shack dwellers behind the Nile Towers in downtown Cairo.

Since last year's revolution, protesters have reiterated demands for the reform of Egypt's police force and the elimination of all forms of police torture and abuse, which had been widespread under the regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

Magda Adli, director of El-Nadim centre believes the police torture tactics have not changed since Egypt's 25 January revolution. "On the contrary, there is a retaliation attitude used by the police while torturing activists. However, authorities continue to deny any torture is being used," said Adli who believes that this reflects that there is "no difference between the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party."

Despite an increased police presence on Egypt's streets during Morsi's first 100 days, critics have continued to blame the ministry of interior for a perceived lack of will to provide adequate police training.

In its report, the Nadim Centre further criticised the "safe exit" given to the perpetrators of violence towards demonstrators, including former heads of Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Hussein Tantawi and Sami Anan.

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