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Egypt: Seven Years for Murder

Egyptian bloggers this week rejoice over the imprisonment of corrupt police officers, who tortured a carpenter to death.
The celebration is all the more special, following the sentencing of men in uniform who tortured Emad Al Kabir. They had used a cell phone to film their sadistic acts on the bus driver and circulated the video among their victim's colleagues to shame him. Little did he know that bloggers would soon be on their trail and the very tool they used to humiliate their victim would be used as evidence against them in court.

Elijah Zarwan explains:

Close on the heels of the conviction of the men who tortured `Imad al-Kabir, a court in Mansoura has sentenced four police officers to prison for slamming Nasr Abdallah’s head into the wall until he died. Abdallah was a carpenter. The police were trying to get him to tell them where his brother, a suspect in a drug case, was hiding.
The sentence was the most severe imposed on a policeman for torture in 10 years. Three cops will serve seven years. Another will serve four. For torturing a man to death.

Ibn Al Dunya delves into more detail:

On Tuesday evening the Mansoura Criminal Court convicted three policemen, a captain and two informers of torturing a man to death, a fourth man received a lighter sentence of three years.
The incident occured on July 31st , when Nasr Ahmed Abdullah, a carpenter was taken into custody and held without charges when police was searching for his brother in the village of Telbana, 110 Km north of Cairo. He was later taken to hospital where he died. The cause of death was determined as internal bleeding close to the brain.
This is the harshest sentence in a similar case for the last ten years according to Gasser Abd al Razeq from the Human Rights watch.

Ibn Al Dunya, however, remains pessimistic that such high profile cases would root out corruption and human rights abuse in his country. He notes:

Human Rights Organizations claims that torture is widespread and systematic, something that the state refutes, allthough it admitts to occasional cases were individuals make mistakes. These two sentences is hopefully the beginning of a new page in terms of taking torture cases involving police and innocent caitizens seriously. I am very pessimistic though. There are ample cases to suggest that the opposite is still the norm. Just to days after the sentences in the Imad al Kabir case, came the next dead victim in the Omraniyya police station case. If the government wants to adress the issue in a positive way, they could start by expanding the definition of torture in Egyptian law according to their international obligations. This would be a good sign of The Egyptian state taking their role role as a current member on the UN Human Rights Council seriously. A positive step has recently been taken by the state affiliated National Council for Human Rights, something that i salute. It would be nice if their friends in the same building could take notice of theiir work.

On a related topic, Ibn Al Dunya is alarmed that video hosting site YouTube had disabled the account of Wael Abbas, who has brought police torture to the forefront. He says:

It´s such a shame that You Tube does not take the opportunity to stand up for such a basic issue as torture. The BBC has a You Tube ¨channel¨, would anyone ever fathom the idea of you tube suspending the BBC, because of them showing graphic images from Abu Ghu´raib for instance?

In a recent development, Wael now claims (Ar) that his Yahoo email account has since been disabled too.

2 comments

  • Marianne

    I think that 7 years are not enough!!!!!

  • […] sein E-Mail-Account auf Yahoo seitdem auch deaktiviert ist. Dieser Artikel erschien zuerst auf Global Voices. Die Übersetzung erfolgte durch Malgorzata Porzezynska , Teil von “Project […]

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