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Egypte : Protesters detained, face military trial

D 5 octobre 2011     H 21:35     A ANHRI     C 0 messages

Cairo - ANHRI condemns the ongoing assault against peaceful citizens by the military police and military officers during the transitional phase, explicitly violating the most elementary human rights to not be subjected to torture, cruel or inhumane treatment and to exercise freedom of opinion and expression.

Activists and protesters continue to be referred to the military justice system. Most recently, on 2 October the military prosecution extended the detention of 11 activists for four more days, pending investigation, on the grounds of a demonstration before the Ministry of Defense.

One hundred activists demonstrated near the Ministry of Defense following a march, in which thousands of people participated, to Tahrir square last Friday. The march was rerouted when the demonstrators found that the Military Police and the Central Security Forces had closed Abbasiya square, preventing them from reaching the headquarters of the Military Council. However, some protesters succeeded in reaching the ministry by taking the metro and getting off at Kobry Al-Kobba station. They intended to stage a sit-in, but the military police prevented them from doing so.

The detainees were charged by the prosecution with "damaging Kobry Al-Kobba Metro station" and "using force and violence against the Armed Forces". The following are the names of those detained :

- Khaled Salah Mohamed
- Mustafa Abdel-Raouf
- Ahmed Ali Amin
- Mahmoud Hamdy
- Ahmed Ibrahim
- Yahia Ahmed
- Mohamed Emad
- Mota Bellah Ossama
- Ali Mohsen
- Hani Ahmed
- Karim Samir

In fact, it is the Military Police who has been using force and violence in dispersing the sit-ins, the most recent example being the suppression of a gathering on the "Friday of reclaiming the revolution" on 1 August, when over 113 protesters were arrested in Tahrir square. The protesters had set up a tent in the central garden for an open sit-in demanding a civil authority and the abolition of the state of emergency. However, Central Security Forces evacuated the square by force following some clashes with the protesters, resulting in injuries to three police recruits and some protesters.

Moreover, a video showing a large number of hand-cuffed and blindfolded citizens in the city of Port Said, screaming in pain while the Military Police beats and tortures them with electric batons while swearing at them, has been circulating on social networks.

A few days prior, a Youtube video was uploaded showing men in police and military attire inside a police station taking turns torturing three citizens, whom they say were caught with unlicensed weapons. The officers surrounding the citizens took turns slapping and shocking them with electric batons in the neck, in an attempt to extract confessions regarding the ownership of the weapons. Even though an investigation into the incident has been launched, no information has been released.

Activists threatened

Egyptian women were subjected to virginity tests after being arrested during the dispersal of a sit-in on 9 March. Samira Mohamed, a marketing director, and one of the women subjected to these tests, stated that she was recently threatened in a phone call during which she was told, "your fate will be the same as Khalid Said’s [an activist killed by police on 6 June] if you do not drop the complaint" and "No revolution will be able to protect you". Samira had filed a complaint against both the doctor and an army recruit who were involved in her arrest. The complaint has not been referred to trial to this day.

Repression of freedoms

"These incidents further illustrate that the situation we are going through is a continuation of the same policing mentality of the former regime. Violations of the law, incidents of torture and repression of citizens’ freedoms, and the terror inflicted by the ongoing detentions and referrals to military trials, contradict with the right to a fair trial before a civil judge," said ANHRI.

"These repressive actions contradict the goals of the revolution. The Military Council has to stop these policies which restrict the freedoms of opinion and expression, as well as the right to peaceful demonstrations. Torture and oppression under the previous regime were the most important reasons for the outbreak of the revolution. The continuation of these practices by the powers that be threatens the future of the Egyptian people and their revolution," added ANHRI.

ANHRI demands a serious investigation into all these oppressive practices against citizens, and demands that civil society organizations come together in the face of these repressive measures, which violate the most basic human rights to freedom of opinion and to a fair trial before a civil judge.

For more information :
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
10 Elwy Street
Apartment 5
Behind the Central Bank
Downtown Cairo
info (@) anhri.net
Phone : +202 239 64058
Fax : +202 239 64058


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