MANSOURA: A woman whose lawyers allege has been tortured was detained for a further 15 days on Thursday on charges of murder.
Iman Refaat Hussein from Mansoura was arrested at the end of November, initially on charges of theft.
At some point during her detention she was charged with killing a girl who was found strangled on Nov. 23.
Her parents, Refaat Hussein Mostafa and Reda El-Said were arrested in their home and detained in the Mansoura police station for four and three days respectively. They claim that police removed a suitcase from their home belonging to the defendant s sister containing clothes, jewelry and $200.
Neither Mostafa nor El-Said were questioned about any crime and both were released without charge.
They allege that they heard their daughter being tortured on the floor above them in the police station while they were being held.
“I heard Iman’s voice every night coming from upstairs. It started at midnight every night, Mostafa told Daily News Egypt.
“‘I beg you, no electric shocks, no beating. I’ll say whatever you want me to say,’ the father recalled his daughter as saying.
They added that the suitcase was returned to them upon release minus the jewelry and money. They also alleged that during their detainment they had to pay to be allowed to use the bathroom.
Hussein was allowed to see his daughter once before he was released. He says that Iman’s hair was singed behind her ears, and alleges that this singeing was caused by the electric shocks she was given.
A mobile phone video smuggled out of the police station where Iman is being held shows extensive bruising to Iman’s arms and chest. Her upper back is covered in roughly four deep vertical scratches.
Hussein’s lawyer, Mohamed Shabana, has lodged a complaint with the public prosecution office about the torture Iman was allegedly subjected to, as well as the illegal detention of her parents.
Shabana alleges that the public prosecution office’s failure to fully monitor Iman s detention, and its refusal to accept Shabana’s initial complaint (presented before the Eid vacation on Dec. 7) was “in order to allow the security directorate to buy time and put its affairs in order.
On Dec. 14 the police department produced female witnesses (women detained in the same police station as Iman) who testified that she had inflicted her injuries on herself.
Shabana, who has not been permitted to talk to his client other than a few snatched words in the courtroom, says that this was a response to the publication of these images in newspapers.
Shabana alleges that the public prosecution office has been remiss in protecting Iman’s rights while she was in police custody.
“What is happening is a disaster. Whether Iman committed the crime or not is irrelevant – defendants have rights, Shabana said.
“If an individual can’t rely on the public prosecution office to receive and examine his complaint, where can he go?