Egypt: Victims of protest violence deserve justice

May 17, 2011

Egypt: Victims of protest violence deserve justice

“As we entered our block we had to lie face down in the court yard and were beaten … by soldiers. They beat us again with cables and canes and used electric prods."

Amnesty International said that victims of torture must receive adequate reparation. The organization also called on the authorities to make a clear commitment to eradicate torture.

Many detained in connection with the unrest were tried by military courts, despite being civilians.

Amnesty International said that trials of civilians before military courts violate fundamental requirements of due process and fair trials, and that their continued use raises questions about the Egyptian military's commitment to establish the rule of law in Egypt.

The organization also called for further investigations into the circumstances of the deaths of at least 189 prisoners during prison unrest.

"Many hundreds of people who suffered grievous abuses during this period are still waiting to receive justice for what happened to them," said Amnesty International.

"That includes families of prisoners unlawfully killed, those who were seriously injured during protests, detainees subjected to torture, and victims of excessive force by security forces in areas not investigated by the government's Commission."

“The Egyptian authorities have much to do to rebuild trust in public institutions, which have been seen as tools of repression and obstacles to justice. They must start by overhauling laws that allowed violations to happen and take steps to guarantee that such abuses will not be repeated.”

Amnesty International has passed its findings to the Public Prosecutor to support investigations into those responsible for human rights violations.

Read more
Demanding Change in the Middle East and North Africa (multimedia microsite)
Testimony of an Egyptian torture victim (Document, 17 February 2011)
Wounded Egyptians tell of security forces' violence (News story, 11 February 2011)