Egypt denies activists tortured

Daily Star Egypt Staff
2 Min Read

CAIRO: Egypt on Wednesday denied claims that pro-reform activists detained after a peaceful demonstration in Cairo last week were tortured. The procedures carried out [on the activists] were within the limits of the law, a Ministry of Interior said. Efforts to tarnish the role of the security forces by saying that they violated the law will not succeed. Two activists, Mohammed Al-Sharqawy and Karim Al-Shaer, were arrested following a rally in Cairo in support of reformist judges on May 25. In a letter smuggled out of his prison cell, Al-Sharqawy said he suffered abuse including being sodomized by police with a rolled-up piece of cardboard. The New York-based Human Rights Watch Wednesday issued a statement calling for an inquiry into the alleged abuses. President Hosni Mubarak should immediately order an independent judicial investigation into last Thursday s severe beatings by security agents of political activists Karim Al-Shaer and Mohammed Al-Sharqawy, it said. Meanwhile, several detainees from a group of activists detained after last week s demonstrations who began a hunger strike on May 28 calling for an investigation into alleged torture have been placed in solitary confinement, their lawyers told AFP. Nine of the detainees have been placed in solitary confinement after declaring the hunger strike, said Gamal Eid, one of the lawyers who visited the detainees Wednesday. The cells are awful with no ventilation, he said. Eid, who was present during the interrogation of the two men, said that Al-Sharqawy was badly hurt. I could see that [Al-Sharqawy] was tortured brutally, Eid told AFP. His eyes were swollen and there were shoe marks on his neck and chest. The movement to support the judges has been repressed by police in recent weeks. To date, hundreds of members of different pro-reform groups are behind bars. AFP

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