CAIRO: The Sudanese Ambassador to Egypt Abdel-Moneim Mohammed Mabrouk has refuted press reports alleging that 28 Egyptian workers were beaten and tortured in a Sudanese police station.
Mabrouk denied completely that any abuse had taken place, stating there was a quarrel between workers at a construction site which was contained by the Sudanese police. Some of those involved were taken to the police station for questioning and then released.
According to Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, 28 Egyptian workers were tortured by Sudanese police officers in Riyad.
Mabrouk criticized how the story was covered in the Egyptian press, labeling it a “sensationalist attempt to stir up public opinion and negative feelings.
“Egypt did something similar against Sudanese refugees in Cairo. The thing is if those sorts of incidents continue to occur, this will affect relations between the peoples of Egypt and Sudan, which is more important than political relations, Nabil Abdel-Fatah, researcher at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies told The Daily Star Egypt.
Abdel-Fatah said that certain political factions in Sudan might exploit this incident for domestic gain, since all sides are at war with each other.
He added that nations will often resort to such incidents to protect their security, adding that the Sudanese government allows assaults on Sudanese people in Darfur through alliances with Arab tribes.
The Ganoub (South) Center for Human Rights issued a statement calling for an immediate investigation into the incident. The center stated that the workers were attacked at their place of employment. The abuse then continued in the Riyad police station.
The center’s statement claims that what sparked off the incident was an argument between an Egyptian worker and a Sudanese worker at a construction site.
Egypt’s Ambassador to Sudan Mohammed Al Shazly told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he had met with the Sudanese District Attorney in order to release the workers, and added that Sudanese authorities are still investigating the incident.
Al-Masry Al-Youm also reported that the Egyptian Consul to Sudan Ayman Badie said that three of the released Egyptian workers had filed a complaint the following day accusing a Sudanese policeman of assaulting them.
Badie added that the incident was triggered by a group of Egyptians working for a Palestinian contractor who got into an altercation with workers in for an Egyptian contractor.
The residents in the area called the police who arrested many of those involved, including 21 Egyptians.
Abdel-Fatah said: “The Egyptian government and ambassador to Sudan must follow up on this story to see if the workers were at fault or whether this is was an act of violence against them.