Egypt MPs meet SCAF to resolve Abbasiya detainee crisis

Ahram Online, Wednesday 16 May 2012

At Tuesday meeting with MPs, SCAF denies military personnel brutalised Abbasiya detainees; Over 300 prisoners threaten 20 May hunger strike to protest poor treatment in custody

abbasiya clashes May 4
Army soldiers clashes with protesters at Abbasiya square near Egypt's Defence Ministry, in Cairo May 4, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Saad El-Katatni, the speaker of the People's Assembly, sent a delegation of four MPs to the ruling military council on Tuesday to resolve the escalating crisis at Tora prison, as Abbasiya detainees threaten to join a mass hunger strike on 20 May in protest of the torture they have allegedly suffered in custody.

Katatni's decision came after several MPs proposed to discuss human rights violations against detainees since their arrest on 4 May during clashes between protesters and the military police outside of the Ministry of Defence in Abbasiya.

The delegation consisted of Mohamed El-Beltagy, secretary-general of the Muslim Brotherhood's  Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Salafist Asala Party MP Mamdouh Ismail, head of the parliamentary Human Rights Committee Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat and FJP MP Adel-Hamed.

The parliamentary group met with Major General Hamdy Badeen, head of the military police and Major Mamdouh Shaheen, member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), who confirmed that "military police were subject to physical violations and not the other way around."

However, Shaheen promised to conduct a second meeting to further investigate the detainees' accusations.

Earlier on Tuesday, the 300 detainees arrested during Friday's security forces attack on a march to the defence ministry, have threatened to join 16 hunger strikers in a mass hunger strike on 20 May, unless they are released without facing military tribunals.  

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