Despite calls and appeals on Egypt and efforts by human rights organizations to document torture victims in prisons and detention centres. Security agents in Egypt continue to systematically torture detainees violating the most basic of rights mandated in international conventions and agreements. HRM has documented to new victims tortured inside Egypt's prisons.
1: Tariq Qutb Alshahat Qutb, 35, a shop owner is one security agents' torture victim. On December 6th, 2015 victims began a hunger strike objecting to treatment in Aqrab prison where the detainees were denied visits for over 2 months; Tariq was prevented from seeing his family for over 7 months. The detainees were also banned from receiving personal belongings and medication and security forces also confiscated their blankets from their cells. They were also assaulted, brutally beaten and electrocuted. Tariq suffered from a stroke and was transferred to Qasr el Ainy Hospital on December 8th, 2015. To date his family has no information regarding his condition as they have been denied visiting rights. They have no idea where he is currently held.
This is not the first violation of its kind. Tariq was arrested on April 16th, 2014 from his workplace in Marsa Matrouh without legal support or arrest warrant. He was held at security forces camp in Marsa Matrouh where he was beaten and electrocuted before he was transferred in June 2014 to Borg el Arab Prison. Once again he was subjected to torture without justification. In January 2015, he was transferred to Aqrab High Security Prison where again he was tortured.
It is worth mentioning that Tariq is held in custody in case number 16921 for 2015 and charged with belonging to an outlawed group and bombing public facilities. Since his arrest prosecution has continued to renew his detention 45 days pending investigation.
The second case includes Abul Fotouh Abdul Gawad Abul Fotouh Abdul Gawad 34, an engineer whose home was stormed at 2 am on September 1st, 2015 by police forces without legal support. He was later taken away by police forces after destroying the contents of his home and enforced into disappearance until 14th December 2015 during which he remained held at the national security headquarters in Lazoghly. He was brutally beaten and electrocuted and to date his family has no information regarding his arrest, torture or detention since he is denied visiting rights and personal belongings.
Before his appearance at the Tora Prison, his family submitted several complaints to the prosecutor and attorney general however received no response. Prosecutors' began interrogation leveling him with fabricated charges including belonging to an outlawed group and continued through December.
The measures are a violation to article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. It is evident that all detainees were not only arrested but arbitrarily held and tortures without legal support as forces stormed homes and workplaces without warrants.
Furthermore excessive and brutal torture was practiced against the civilians defying of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and article 4 of the International Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which asserts:
Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture. 2. Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.
For its part HRM renews its call on the Egyptian authorities to promptly release the detainees and open an urgent inquiry into the torture and crimes committed against the detainees held in custody and holding all responsible accountable for their actions.
Moreover it calls on the international community to send a fact finding committee to investigate the human rights conditions in Egypt and to open an urgent inquiry into the torture in Egypt's prisons and to hold those responsible for their actions accountable in front of an international court.