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Egypt: The Ministry of Interior Seeks Revenge

Using their blogs, mobile phones, and new media, Egyptian activists have exposed numerous torture incidents by police officers over the past few years. Wael Abbas (Misr Digital), Shahinaz Abdel Salam (Wa7da Masreya), Ramy Raoof (Human Rights Defender), Amr Gharbeia (Gharbeia), Noha Atef (Torture in Egypt), Mohamed Khaled (Mac), Sameh El Aroosy (Eye on the World), Malek Mostafa (Malek X), Hossam El Hamalawy (3arabawy), and many others have advocated human rights and uncovered police violations and corruption.

The most famous incident is that of Emad El Kebir, who was tortured and sodomized by Islam Nabih and Reda Fathi – the police officers who were brought to justice after the torture video went viral. And the most recent of which is the severe torture and brutal murder of Khaled Said – a 28-year-old Egyptian from the coastal city of Alexandria who died for asking for a search warrant.

Amr Gharbeia‘s most recent post is entitled:

التعذيب عندهم… و احنا ضدهم
Standing in the face of torture.

It is about the civil society's most recent anti-torture initiative. Gharbeia writes:

حادث التعذيب و القتل الأخير و الذي راح ضحيته خالد سعيد أعاد الاهتمام بالتعذيب كواحد من أكبر ما يعوق حركة الناس نحو تحسين ظروف حياتهم. الأفراد المحتجزين هم أضعف من أن يمكنهم الدفاع عن أنفسهم، و لهذا فإن سلامة الأفراد مسؤولية المجتمع.

يبدأ اليوم موقع جديد لقوة العمل المناهضة للتعذيب في العمل. تتكون قوة العمل من “مجموعة من المنظمات الحقوقية والأفراد – أطباء ومحامون وصحفيون ومدونون – اجتمعوا على العمل معا من أجل مناهضة التعذيب والتضامن مع من يتعرضون له مستخدمين في ذلك كافة الوسائل بداية من الدعم النفسي والقانوني وكشف جرائم التعذيب والنشر في الاعلام والأبحاث ومخاطبة الرأي العام بخطورة القضية ومعدل انتشارها وسبل التصدي للقائمين عليها”، و هي مدعومة من المجلس الدولي لتأهيل ضحايا التعذيب في كوبنهاجن.

باكورة إنتاج قوة العمل فيلم بعنوان رامي: قصة من تمي الأماديد، و رامي هو “طفل من قرية تمى الأماديد بمحافظة الدقهلية عذبته الشرطة في عام 2008 ليعترف بجريمة قتل لم يرتكبها”

The most recent torture incident that took the life of Khaled Said rekindled activism against torture, placing it among the leading factors that discourage people from claiming their rights to a better life. People in custody are too weak to defend themselves; thus their safety and security is the responsibility of their society.

Today, a new site combating torture is activated. Several human rights organizations and individual defenders from different paths of life are behind this site where they work together in offering torture victims psychological and legal counselling, exposing more incidents, reaching out to mainstream media organizations, and creating public awareness about the cause and its repercussions. The new site is supported by The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims in Copenhagen.

The first fruits of this workforce is “Ramy: a Story from Tamy El Amadeed Village” – a movie about a young man from a village in Egypt who was tortured by the police in 2008 to confess to a murder he did not commit.

According to Wael Abbas, it seems that the Egyptian Ministry of Interior is seeking revenge from those who exposed internal police force corruption and recurrent torture cases. Wael received a message from Sameh El Aroosy who shared many video clips of torture in police stations saying that he has been arrested in Libya.

The message says:

الأخ والزميل العزيز / وائل عباس
تحية طيبة ,,
نحيطكم علما بأنني قد أعتقلت من قبل الأمن الداخلي الليبي لمدة 43 يوم في حبس إنفرادي بأحد مقرات الأمن الداخلي الليبي بتحريض من ضابط الإتصال بالقنصلية المصرية ويدعي اللواء هشام النجار والذي توعدني
كما قاموا بمصادرة جهازين لاب توب والباسبور الخاص بي
وتم الإفراج عني بعد أن وقعت علي تعهد بعدم إنتقاد النظام المصري علي المدونة أوعلي أي موقع علي شبكة الإنترنيت
وأنا الأن ومنذ ما يقرب من العام لم أتسلم جواز السفر ولا أجهزة الكمبيوتر ومحدد إقامتي بمدينة قمينس والتي تبعد عن مدينة بنغازي ب50 كيلو
Dear Wael Abbas,
I would like to let you know that I have been arrested by the Libyan security forces for 43 days and placed in solitary imprisonment. My arrest and detention have been instigated by general Hisham El Naggar – a communication officer in the Egyptian consulate. My two laptops and my Egyptian passport have been confiscated and I was released after I was forced to sign a release form stating that I pledge to withhold from criticizing the Egyptian regime on my blog or anywhere online. Today, and for almost a year, I still have not received my passport or my laptops, and I am almost exiled in the city of Qaminis, 50 kilometers away from Bin Ghazi.

Wael commented on his message saying:

وزارة الداخلية يبدو أنها أعلنت تصفية حساباتها مع من فضحوها
وانها لن تتسامح وأن لها ثأرا يتخطى حدود البلاد
فأنقذوا من كشفوا التعذيب
The Ministry if Interior has decided to settle accounts with those who have exposed its torture scandals. Obviously its vindictive arm reaches beyond the Egyptian borders. Please help rescue “torture-busters”.

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