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Urgent Action Update: Boy Tortured To Confess Faces 15 Years In Jail (Egypt: UA 197/16)

Urgent Action
December 6, 2016
 
The trial of 15-year-old Aser Mohamed has been adjourned to 27 December. He faces a string of charges, including belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood group and attacking a hotel, based on “confessions” that he says were obtained under torture after 34 days of enforced disappearance. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years imprisonment.
 
Aser Mohamed was arrested by National Security Agency (NSA) officers on 12 January and subjected to enforced disappearance for the next 34 days during which he claims he was tortured to “confess” to offences he did not commit. He was 14 years old at the time of the arrest. On 15 February, Aser Mohamed appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution for questioning without the presence of his lawyer. The child told the prosecutor that he had been given electric shocks and suspended from his limbs for long hours. But the prosecutor did not open an investigation into the allegations. Instead, Aser Mohamed says the prosecutor threatened that he would send him back to the NSA to face further torture if he tried to retract his confessions. The prosecutor then ordered Aser Mohamed’s pre-trial detention in contravention of Egyptian law that prohibits pre-trial detention for children under the age of 15. He was referred to trial in August.
 
The last court session was held on 29 November. The court refused the request of defence lawyers for the judge in the case to respond to their allegations that he is biased. At the 8 October Cairo Appeals Court session, defence lawyers alleged that the judge made remarks in the media expressing his hatred for the Muslim Brotherhood, described it as a terrorist organisation. Aser Mohamed was not transferred to court for this session. At the next court session on 27 December, Aser Mohamed’s lawyer is expecting for the evidence in the case to be presented in court and for the case to be adjourned again. The boy’s family told Amnesty International on 5 December that he continues to find his detention psychologically difficult. He remains in Camp 10.5, where his family said officers aggressively searched the boy and his inmates’ cell, taking away their kettle, food and tearing their pillows.
 
1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Calling on the Egyptian authorities to release Aser Mohamed immediately as his detention is unlawful;
  • Calling on them to protect Aser Mohamed from torture and other ill-treatment and allow him full access to his lawyer, medical treatment and family;
  • Calling on them to ensure an impartial, effective investigation into his enforced disappearance and allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, and prosecute those responsible in a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty.
Contact these two officials by 17 January, 2017:
Public Prosecutor
Nabil Sadek 
Office of the Public Prosecutor
Madinat al-Rehab
New Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Salutation: Dear Counsellor
 
Ambassador Yasser Reda
Embassy of Egypt
3521 International Ct NW, Washington DC 20008
Fax: 202 244 4319  -OR-  202 244 5131  I  Phone: 202 895 5400
 
 
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