Egyptian Islamist leader Sultan claims torture in detention

Ahram Online, Sunday 9 Feb 2014

Wasat Party leader Essam Sultan says he was given only 'sewage water' to drink and denied warm clothing for 16 days while in pre-trial detention

Essam Sultan
Essam Sultan (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The leader of an Islamist party allied with the Muslim Brotherhood has claimed he was subjected to torture while being held in detention.

In Sunday's court session over charges of insulting the judiciary, Wasat Party leader Essam Sultan claimed he had been deprived of food and potable water for 16 days, saying he was only offered "sewage water," Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

Sultan added that the only clothing item he is allowed to wear in the cold weather is a light undergarment, and was only given a jacket just before entering the court.

Last May, several judges filed complaints against Sultan and a number of other Islamist figures for allegedly insulting the judiciary and accusing it of corruption during media interviews.

Sultan, however, pleaded with the judge in Sunday's session, saying he respects the judiciary and only criticised the acquittal of the defendants in the Battle of the Camel case. 

Sultan was seen on television criticising a court decision to acquit 25 defendants accused of attacking Tahrir Square protesters on 2 February 2011.

Gamal Gibreil, former aide to ousted president Mohamed Morsi, and Brotherhood member Taher Abdel-Mohsen face similar charges in the case, which was adjourned to 8 March.

The complaints were made after the Wasat Party proposed a law in the now dissolved Shura Council (Parliament Upper House) to retire some 3,500 judges aged over 60.

Sultan, who has been in detention since late July, is also being prosecuted for inciting violence at the pro-Morsi Rabaa Al-Adawiya protest camp, allegedly leading to the death of three people by torture.

He is also accused of calling on Islamists to torch state institutions in Nasr City, where the camp was held.

Since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July, Egypt's interim authorities have been conducting a sustained crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood movement, in which thousands have been jailed and hundreds others killed.

Morsi himself is behind bars and face multiple trials over an array of charges including murder and jailbreak.

Liberal ex-MP Amr Hamzawy, among several others including Morsi, also faces charges of insulting the judiciary.

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