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Cairo Institute for Human Rights denounces torture by Egypt’s new government and President al-Sisi. Egypt was also used as a torture location for the United States immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Hundreds of prisoners were tortured and killed there
A group of human rights organizations strongly condemned on Thursday (March 26, 2015) the torture and collective punishments taking place in Egyptian prison, foremost the incidents that took place last week in Liman II (ward B) of Abu Zaabal prison complex.
The incident in Abu Zaabal was not the first, since some of the undersigned organizations received reports of torture taking place over the last few weeks in Borg El Arab and Tora prisons.
A number of the undersigned organizations had received information of cases of torture and degrading treatment of political prisoners in Liman II of Abu Zaabal prison complex indicating that masked formations of central security forces broke into the cells on the 19th of March 2015, aggressed the prisoners with clubs and police dogs as well as used tear gas resulting in injuries and fainting among political prisoners. Prison forces then took 15 prisoners from their cells, tortured them for three hours in front of the rest of the prisoners, stripping them of their clothes, forcing them to verbally abuse themselves and then transferred them to disciplinary solitary cells.
Among those held in solitary confinement according to information received by the undersigned organizations include Abdelrahman Tarek, Mostafa Shehata, Belal Madawi (injured), Mahmud Ahmed Sayed (injured), Omar Mohamed Morsi (injured) and Mahmud Atef (injured). Also journalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada, in pretrial detention for more than 450, during which he was constantly subjected to degrading treatment and torture, began a hunger strike protesting his continued imprisonment and his maltreatment in prison.
Based on this information the undersigned organizations demand the following:
An immediate investigation in the violations committed against prisoners in Abu Zaabal prison, taking into considerations that those violations constitute practices of torture, cruel and degrading treatment and punishment, all of which have no statutes of limitations according to the Egyptian constitution and international conventions endorsed by the Egyptian government without reservations.
We call upon the board of the medical syndicate and the National Council for Human Rights to undertake an immediate visit to Abu Zaabal prison to investigate the condition of aggressed prisoners and provide the necessary medical care to those injured among them.
We also demand that human rights organizations be granted access to visit prisoners and examine prison conditions, noting that previous requests have been either ignored or rejected.
Finally, while we reconfirm that the practice of torture is a political decision and equally needs a political decision to be stopped, we hold the Ministry of Interior and the prison department responsible for the life and safety of prisoners held in their prisons.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and for TheArabDailyNews.com, and TheDailyHookah.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com www.arabnews.com/taxonomy/term/10906