Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Freed Egyptian blogger alleges torture behind bars

Egyptian blogger Karim el-Beheiri was released from jail along with two other labor activists Sunday, after reportedly being tortured at the hands of security officials, Agence France-Presse reported Tuesday.

Beheiri, Tarek Amin and Kamal al-Fayoumy were arrested on April 6 in connection with riots in the industrial city of Mahalla. According to the article, the three were accused of “inciting unrest, damage to property, and demonstrating.”

A day after his release, Beheiri told reporters of the treatment and his fellow activists experienced while behind bars. “We were subjected to electric shocks, to beating and there was no food and or drink for the first few days,” he said. “We went through weeks of torture and humiliation.”

An official with the Interior Ministry denied any of the men had been mistreated during their detention. “They are false accusations,” the official said. “Everything took place within a framework of human rights.”

Beheiri reported that during interrogations at the many security centers he was taken to, he was typically questioned about his blog and connections to other bloggers. The government’s interest in his blogging is telling. Egypt’s restricted access to independent reporting has made blogs and “real time” social networking sites important venues for expressing dissent and reporting on events.

For the full article, click here.


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