CAIRO: Amnesty International has called for protection for a woman who alleges that she and her family are being subject to a campaign of harassment and intimidation by the police.
The international rights group is also calling for a prompt and effective investigation into the allegations of torture and mistreatment made by Mona Thabet and her husband Yasser Naguib against Mohamed Fawzy, head of police in the Shubra Police Station no. 2, Cairo.
On Feb. 3, 2009 Thabet gave a press conference during which she described the treatment she and Naguib had received at the hands of Fawzy.
She alleges that her husband has been repeatedly detained in the Shubra Police Station no.2 where he has been tortured, Thabet claims, because of his refusal to work as a police informant.
Thabet says that after filing a complaint about her husband s treatment, she herself was tortured in the police station by Fawzy who, together with two other police officers, physically assaulted her and shaved her head. She says that Fawzy threatened her with further violence if she failed to withdraw the complaint against him.
After filing a complaint about her own treatment Thabet says that she was threatened by telephone with torture, rape, the killing of her husband and kidnapping of her children if she did not withdraw the complaint.
Despite this, Thabet filed a second complaint on Feb. 4, as a result of which an order was made to for the incident to be investigated.
Fawzy was allegedly summoned for questioning but failed to appear. Police officers reportedly visited her home a few days after this and made threats against her.
“On Feb. 13, police officers in a micro-bus came to her house at around 6 pm, beat and slapped her in the street in front of her house and tore off her clothes, Amnesty says in the urgent alert, issued on Feb. 25.
“Mona Said Thabet reported that police opened fire at her husband, who fled the scene. She said she was also attacked with a sharp object in her back, which caused cuts that required 23 stitches, the urgent alert continues.
When Daily News Egypt met Thabet and her children the next day, they were too scared to return home and had spent the night on the streets of central Cairo.
Amnesty International says in the urgent alert, “torture and other ill-treatment remains widespread and systematic in police stations, and other detention centers of the State Security Investigations services.
Four previous allegations of abuse have been made against Fawzy by different and unrelated individuals.
In its book “Torture in Egypt: A State Policy the El Nadim Center for the Rehabilitation of the Victims of Violence details complaints made by Fathy Abdel-Rahman and his family, and Mohamed Abdel-Rahman Zein in 2002 and 2006 respectively.
In December 2006 Nour El-Hoda Abdel-Warith alleged that police officers under Fawzy s command tortured her by hanging her from her feet for two hours and beating her. They had arrested her in order to persuade her husband – who was wanted for questioning – to hand himself in.
She alleged that her husband was also tortured by Fawzy and other police officers when he handed himself in.
In 2008 an 18 year-old woman with the initials M.S alleged that she was beaten by Fawzy inside the Shubra police station no.2 after going to report a mugging.
M.S is quoted as saying, “The real aim of the assault against me … is to pressure me into changing my statement so that there is no case to begin with – the presence of thieves in the police station district means that the criminal investigations apparatus is not doing its job properly.