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Egypt ministry denies Amnesty report of teen raped by police

Ahram Online , Wednesday 16 Dec 2015
Magdi Abdel Ghaffar
Egypt's Interior Minister General Magdi Abdel Ghaffar Cairo, March 15, 2015 (Reuters)
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The Egyptian interior ministry denied on Wednesday a recent Amnesty International report that claimed a 14-year-old boy was raped and tortured by Egypt's National Security agents during detention.  

Abdallah’s family had told Amnesty, the teenager was "repeatedly tortured in custody in October, given electric shocks on his genitals and had a wooden stick repeatedly thrust into his anus as police forced him to confess to protesting without authorisation and belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood group."

However, the interior ministry released a statement on Wednesday saying that “the boy was referred to the forensics authority following the prosecution’s order after a request was made by his lawyers, and the authority said in its report that the rape and torture allegations were untrue.”

Last week, Amnesty called "for the immediate release of Abdallah and for those responsible in torturing and raping him be brought to justice."

“The horrific abuse described by Mazen Mohamed Abdallah gives a sickening insight into the widespread and routine use of torture and ill-treatment by Egyptian security forces in police stations,” Said Boumedouha, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme, said on Friday

“Mazen is accused of nothing more than the peaceful expression of views. Detaining a child of his age is illegal, he must be released immediately,” Boumedouha added.

The police said in their official statement that they have "confirmed information" that Abdallah and others were involved in violent operations by the now banned Muslim Brotherhood, where they attacked institutions and torched police cars in Cairo’s Nasr City last October.

The international rights group said it has documented a rise in reports of torture, cases of deaths in custody and enforced disappearances across Egypt since the appointment last March of Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar, who comes from a national security background.

In November, an Egyptian interior minister aide asserted after multiple alleged cases of alleged tortured to death of citizens in police custody that the ministry does not protect any policeman who mistreats a citizen or violates the law. 

Last week, four police officers and five lower-ranking policemen were referred to criminal court on charges of torturing to death 47-year-old Talaat Shabeeb while in police custody in Upper Egypt's Luxor. Shabeeb’s case was among several high-profile incident in Egypt involving allegations of police abuse in the last few weeks.

Torture is forbidden under Egypt's 2014 constitution, with Article 52 designating "torture in all its forms as a crime without a statute of limitations."

The Egyptian government has repeatedly said that some international rights groups such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch make false accusations against Cairo and have show bias towards the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

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