Egypt must suspend security forces involved in ‘torture’ video

News
September 29, 2011

Egypt must suspend security forces involved in ‘torture’ video

The Egyptian authorities should suspend members of the army and the security forces responsible for abusing detainees, Amnesty International said today after a video was published showing officers beating and torturing detainees.

The video, which was allegedly filmed at a police station in the El-Daqahliya governorate north of Cairo and published on YouTube, shows three handcuffed men in a room surrounded by uniformed army and police officers. Officers laugh and mock two of the detainees while repeatedly beating and giving them electric shocks with tasers.

“Judging by this deeply unsettling video, suspects are still being subjected to torture and other ill-treatment in Egypt, despite the security forces’ official pledge to uphold human rights,” said Amnesty International.

A statement published on the website of the Egyptian police confirmed the identities of the two detainees and said they were illegal weapon dealers. According to the statement, the two men were arrested in July during a security raid.

Mohammed Tantawi, head of Egypt’s ruling military council has ordered an investigation into the incident, according to Egypt’s state news agency Middle East News Agency (MENA).

“Unfortunately, this is an all too familiar a pattern: An investigation is announced, but it is not transparent and the results are never made public. Now the authorities must match their words with direct and immediate action,” said Amnesty International.

“For such an investigation to be credible it must be independent and transparent with its outcome made public and those found responsible for abuse prosecuted”, the organization said.

“Short of this, the investigation would appear another way to deflate criticism of the abuses committed by the security forces ahead of tomorrow’s demonstrations”.