Criminal court to make a ruling in State Security officers' torture case

Ahram Online, Thursday 26 Sep 2013

On 31 October, Cairo criminal court will announce verdicts in the cases of three State Security officers accused of torturing suspects

state security agency building
A man holds up a signage from the state security agency building in Nasr City in Cairo March 5, 2011 (REUTERS)

Three Egyptian State Security officers have been charged with torturing citizens to obtain confessions.

One officer is accused of torturing three suspects between 1987 and 2009 at the central Cairo police station in Abdeen. He allegedly stripped them out of their clothes and submitted them to electric shocks in an effort to obtain confessions that they belonged to an banned Islamist organization.

The second officer is charged with using the same methods to torture one suspect who allegedly led the jihad in Iraq and excomunicated the Egyptian leader.

The third officer is accused of beating and insulting a suspect, depriving him of food and placing him in individual confinement without cause.

A Cairo criminal court will announce the verdicts in these three cases on 31 October.

Torture and mistreatments of detainees are common practices in Egypt’s police stations. Under the autocratic rule of Hosni Mubarak, the State Security Investigations Service was the highest internal security authority in Egypt. The SSIS were responsible for monitoring Islamic militant groups and repressing political groups deemed critical of Mubarak's regime.

The end of the police state and police brutality were two of the central demands of the 25 January revolution that ended Mubarak’s rule in 2011. After the popular uprising, the SSIS was restructered and subsequently renamed The Homeland Security Service. Human rights activists have argued that the change is only cosmetic and called for more in-depth reform of the security apparatus' practices and methods.

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