Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Two Egyptian police officers sentenced after torturing 21-year-old

Two Egyptian police officers were sentenced Monday to three years in prison for their involvement in the 2006 torture of a 21-year-old minivan driver, The Washington Post reported the next day.

The case of Emad el-Kabir has become a landmark in Egyptian rights cases, and not because of the police torture. According to rights groups, that is something that happens on daily basis, but the fact that this incident was recorded – via a cellphone video camera – makes it unique.

Footage of the incident spread on the Internet when Egyptian bloggers obtained the clip. According to the article: “The video spurred greater reporting of torture in Egypt and heightened international criticism of human rights abuses by Egyptian authorities.”

According to the article: “Police took Kabir to their station in a working-class neighborhood of Cairo in January 2006 after he intervened in an argument between his cousin and police. Police used a cellphone to record the mistreatment that followed: Pinioning Kabir’s hands, police sodomized the man with a wooden pole as officers jeered.”

“Police treatment of Egyptians often is openly rough – officers slap street children in full view of passersby, for example. Local rights groups say torture is systemic and that poor training leads police to rely on beatings to obtain confessions,” the article noted.

There are other cases, including the torture of a 13-year-old boy who was detained by police in August for stealing tea bags. The article states: “Police allegedly returned the boy to his family burned, gouged and on the verge of a coma.” The boy died a few days later and police deny responsibility in the death.

For the full article, click here.


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