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25 January protesters faced human rights violations: Amnesty International

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New report details protestors being subjected to beatings and electric shock

An Egyptian policeman arrests a Muslim Brotherhood supporter (C) following a demonstration in the Nasr City district of Cairo, on January 25, 2014. Egyptian police fired tear gas at anti-government protesters in Cairo, as the country marked the anniversary of a 2011 uprising that overthrew veteran president Hosni Mubarak.  (AFP PHOTO/MOHAMED EL-SHAHED)

An Egyptian policeman arrests a Muslim Brotherhood supporter (C) following a demonstration in the Nasr City district of Cairo, on January 25, 2014.

Released on Tuesday, a new report by human rights watchdog Amnesty International details the arrest and detention of over 1,000 protestors during demonstrations marking the third anniversary of the 25 January Revolution.

Titled “’The walls of the cell were smeared with blood’ – third anniversary of Egypt’s uprising marred by police brutality,” the report covers a series of human rights violations by the police, including allegations of torture and denying lawyers access to the detained.

Citing a number of unnamed detainees, the report claims that arrested protests were subjected to beatings and torture through electrical shock.  The detained included men and women, both minors and adults, said Amnesty International.

“At the police station the protester said the arrested men were blindfolded and beaten all over their bodies and on their faces,” read the report.  “Several detainees, including children, were beaten so badly they were unable to walk. One man was bleeding from the head. Another detainee’s clothes were ripped to shreds.”

A number of lawyers claimed that they were not allowed access to their clients who were being held in Egyptian prisons, while others claim they were threatened when attempting to meet with the detained.

Amr Imam, an attorney working for pro-human rights groups the Front to Defend Egypt’s Protesters and the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre, said that he was threatened at gunpoint by a security official while trying to meet with detained activists at the Maadi Police Station.

“He was struck in the chest with a rifle butt. When he protested the man raised his machine gun and pointed it at him. Other members of the security forces followed suit. They threatened to shoot after counting to 10 if he did not leave,” read the report.

Amnesty International expressed its concern for the ongoing crackdown against voices of dissent, fearing that “many of the men, women and children arrested were merely exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly or were bystanders.”

While Amnesty International cited 64 dead and over 1,000 arrested on 25 January, Wiki Thawra, an independent database dedicated to keeping a statistical record of those injured or killed in Egyptian protests and clashes, claims that 103 people were killed and 1,341 were arrested.

About the author

Aaron T. Rose

Aaron T. Rose is an American journalist in Cairo. Follow him on Twitter: @Aaron_T_Rose

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