Prisoners tortured in indescribable ways in Egypt

Prisoners tortured in indescribable ways in Egypt
Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:06:30

Prisoners in Egypt government jails have sent out videos on their arbitrary arrests, torture and forced confessions taking place in Egypt.

The pieces of footage, recorded on mobile phones, show the detainees giving an account of prison conditions from within their cells.
Prisoners in the videos say they had been beaten, tortured and threatened with rape.

“They tortured me in ways I can’t describe. They started making me memorize confessions, they told me, ‘You’re going to stand before someone and you have to say what we tell you word for word,’” said a young male detainee, who claimed to be a university student.

In another video, a young prisoner describes how he was convicted.

Taken to the State Security headquarters, he said that he and 16 other prisoners were asked to confess to "which organization we belong".

After extending their detention for 15 days, "they took us to prison, and there we stood trial. It was a kangaroo court, there was no evidence presented, no witnesses, not even prosecution witnesses were present”.

"The judge handed us a verdict of two-and-a-half years. I appealed the verdict, but three months have passed now and I’m being punished for nothing whatsoever," he said.

All prisoners testifying on camera described how cramped their cells are.

"The cell I am in is tiny, despite the large number of inmates that are jailed here. We sleep with our feet over each other," said an older captive.

Political prisoners report that they are being held in the same cells as criminals. "We were put into a holding cell with around 70 or 80 other inmates. It was filled with smoke, we couldn’t breathe any clean air," said one detainee.

"We were inhaling cigarette smoke and hashish and marijuana smoke - drugs that I had never inhaled or even seen before in my life."

"It was a very strange experience because I got to know every single type of drug there is in Egypt," he said.

"Every type of drug that is dealt in Egypt exists inside police cells and under the nose of the Interior Ministry."

Egypt’s Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim has denied the claims made by the detainees in the footage.

“It’s impossible that any form of torture is taking place in Egyptian prisons,” he said.

Ibrahim added that no one is arrested arbitrarily and that the inmates either possessed weapons or took part in non-peaceful protests.

According to reports, over 21,000 people have been arrested in Egypt since the ouster of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohammad Morsi, in July 2013.

Last year, the Muslim Brotherhood movement was listed by Egyptian authorities as a terrorist group.

The United Nations Human Rights Council also has recently expressed concern over the Egyptian security forces’ heavy-handed crackdown and the killing of peaceful anti-government protesters.

According to rights groups, 1,400 people have been killed in the political violence since the ouster of Morsi, “most of them due to excessive force used by security forces.”


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