In the framework of the Human Rights Coalition action, composed of the undersigned organizations, which has been formed to monitor the prosecution of state security officer, Captain Ashraf Moustafa Hussein Safwat, accused of torturing the deceased victim Mohammed Abdul Qader al-Sayyed; members of the Coalition attended the hearing that took place at the Cairo Criminal Court (New Cairo) on May 5th 2007. The Court decided to postpone the case to September 3rd 2007 to notify the President of the Republic, after the attorneys of the Association for Legal Assistance on Human Rights, who have taken the case since 2003, decided to bring legal action against the president, and claimed compensation in favor of the minor children of the victim.
It should be noted that the mother of the minor children had previously waived her civil allegation brought against the defendant, given her personal capacity as the guardian of her children. However, the Family Court ruling obliged her to proceed with the civil action, due to the damaging effect of her behavior on the interests of the minor children. The waiver presented to the court and the absence of the victim’s family from the court hearing sessions cast doubts over their being subjected to pressures by the state security investigation service.
The Coalition expressed its deep regret for the Court’s persistent refusal of allowing news channels cameramen inside the court hall, and its astonishment as to the long postponement of the case, which, according to the Coalition, is unjustifiable, given the Court’s discretionary power in this respect.
It is noteworthy that this is the first lawsuit filed against a state security investigation officer with allegations of torture in the past twenty years since 1986, a year that witnessed the prosecution of forty-four officers.
The Organizations making up the Coalition in Arabic alphabetical order:
The Egyptian Association against Torture
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
The National Center for Law and Human Rights
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
The Committee for the Defense of Freedoms in the Egyptian Bar Association
Land Center for Human Rights
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Al-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation and Psychological Treatment of Victims of Violence
Hesham Mubarak Center for Law
Mr. Mahmoud Qandil, Attorney at Law
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