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Amnesty International denies reports they were invited to work with Fact-Finding Committee

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No offer of cooperation made, said international human rights watchdog

Egyptian demonstrators gather outside the presidential palace in Cairo on June 30, 2013. (Photo by Aaron T.Rose\DNE)

Egyptian demonstrators gather outside the presidential palace in Cairo on June 30, 2013.
(Photo by Aaron T.Rose\DNE)

On Wednesday Amnesty International denied reports that it had been invited to assist the 30 June Fact-Finding Committee, the government-backed body tasked with investigating violence since the fall of former president Mohamed Morsi.

Multiple media sources reported Tuesday that the Fact-Finding Committee reached out to international human rights watchdog Amnesty International to help investigate allegations of the torture and forced disappearance of inmates in Egypt’s prisons, but Amnesty International’s Egypt spokesperson denied to the Daily News Egypt that any offer was ever made by the Committee.

In early June, Amnesty International submitted their evidence about abuse in prison to the Committee, said the Amnesty International spokesperson, “however, since then, we haven’t heard back from the national Fact Finding committee.

“We have tried to work with [the Committee], and we invited them to call us if they want so we can meet. We even agreed to meet [the Committee] with people from senior levels [at Amnesty International] in London.”

In a scathing 22 May press release, Amnesty International announced evidence that dozens of inmates “are subjected to torture and other ill-treatment to make them confess to crimes” at Al Azouly prison inside Al Galaa Military Camp in Ismailia.

“Those accused of killing soldiers or police are given electric shocks, hung on doors, burned, and sometimes whipped,” read the statement.

Testimony from inmates, family members and lawyers showed that torture and forced disappearance is a problem across Egypt, not isolated at Al Azouly, said the Amnesty International spokesperson.

“Reports of torture in Egypt have been steadily emerging. Yet, what’s happening inside the prison is taken straight from a torturer’s textbook and shows that behind the authorities’ rhetoric of the road map to democracy…lies ruthless repression,” said Middle East and North Africa Programme Deputy Director at Amnesty international Hassiba Hadj-Sahraoui.

After a national dialogue with several different political factions, interim President Adly Mansour announced on 22 December the formation of the Fact-Finding Committee to probe the events that ensued after the 30 June 2013 protests and the 3 July 2013 ouster of Morsi, until 3 June 2014, when Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi was sworn into the presidency.

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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