Cairo, 27 May 2006
– The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo) urge the Egyptian Minister of Interior to announce the names of the sadistic police officers who brutally tortured two Egyptian students, Mohamed El-Sharkawi and Karim Al-Sha’er, after being kidnapped in Cairo on Thursday, 25 May, afternoon.
Both students were released on Tuesday 23 May. Mohamed El-Sharkawi was about to enter a car near the Egyptian Press Syndicate (EPS) when policemen pulled him out of the car and started to beat him. When a crowd of people gathered, police officers pulled him into a building entrance where they continued beating him. A few minutes later, El-Sharkawi was carried unconscious in a police vehicle. He retrieved his consciousness only to suffer more from the continuous torture that was taking place in the car. In Qasr El Nil police station his clothes was forcefully taken off. He was then sexually attacked to punish him for his non-compliance to stay at home. As he was being released last Tuesday, he was told to not leave his residence.
Karim Al-Sha’er, on the other hand, was kidnapped from the car of BBC reporter, Dina Samak. The car was damaged and Al-Sha’er was beaten by policemen who abducted him to Qasr El Nil police station. There, policemen continued torturing Al-Sha’er. Both El-Sharkawi and Al-Sha’er were referred to State Security Prosecutor later on Thursday night.
“Many lawyers could not hold back their tears when they saw El-Sharkawi during interrogations. We compared how El-Sharkawi looked earlier today with how he looked that night after being tortured. The color of his skin was pale and his body was swollen. He could not even talk as his lips were cut. What sadistic torture! I did not see such torture since 1993 during the interrogations with the Jihad movement,” said lawyer and HRinfo Executive Director, Gamal Eid.
HRinfo demands the Minister of Interior to announce the names of policemen involved in such torture crimes against Mohamed El-Sharkawi and Karim Al-Sha’er and to apologize to the Egyptian people for committing such actions. The Minister of Interior should resign in the case he fails to comply with such demands. If he chooses to hide the names of involved officers and condemn such atrocious practices, then he is clearly in collusion with such practices.
HRinfo condemns the position taken by the Public Prosecutor. The public prosecutor violated the law in almost 6 incidents that took place in this particular case:
1- The Public Prosecutor did not question the Chief Bureau of Qasr El-Nil police station for torture crime that took place under his own eyes;
2- The Public Prosecutor did not refer El-Sharkawi and Al-Sha’er to a forensic doctor immediately. Their wounds may include sever fractures, especially in the chest as a result of the physical assault perpetrated against them;
3- The Public Prosecutor did not allow the doctor accompanied by defense team to provide first aid treatment;
4- The Public Prosecutor did not protect the victims and lawyers against practices to terrorize them committed by security officers;
5- The Public Prosecutor did not respond to demands to delegate an investigative judge to investigate into the incident, due to the obvious collusion of the prosecutor with state security authorities;
6- The Public Prosecutor sentenced the victims for 15 days of detention, rather than referring them to a hospital to provide medical care for El-Sharkawi and Al-Sha’er, although the prosecutor himself seemed shocked for the sever wounds on their bodies.
The lawyers who attended the interrogations with El-Sharkawi and El-Shaer were “Mahmoud Kandil, Said Fathi, Ahmed Rageb, Ragia Omran and HRinfo executive director; Gamal Eid. They were terrorized by security officers who took over the Public Prosecutor Bureau and prevented the lawyers from defending the victims.
HRinfo believes that this serious escalation clearly reflects the fact that the Minister of Interior gave a green card for his affiliated officers to perpetrate such sadistic torture against citizens. The journalist of Al-Dostour Newspaper; Abeer Al-Askary was severely attacked after publishing a file on a police officer famous for torturing prisoners.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information – Egypt
Al-Nadim Center for Psychological Rehabilitation for Victims of Violence – Egypt
Hisham Mubarak Center for Law – Egypt
Egyptian Association Against Torture – Egypt
Egyptian Association for Economic and Social Rights – Egypt
Arabic Program for Human Rights Activists – Egypt
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies -Egypt