Officer accused of torturing Fayoum doctor may escape punishment, warns rights group

Katharina Natter
2 Min Read

CAIRO: “There are strong and clear indications that the Fayoum officer accused of having tortured Dr. Taha Abdel Tawwab is on his way to escaping punishment, stated the Arabic Network for Human Rights and Information (ANHRI) in a press release issued on Monday.

“This case will be added to a long list of cases where torture has stayed unpunished, the statement continued.

Abdel Tawwab, a 36-year-old doctor in Fayoum, was allegedly subject to beating and humiliation by a State Security officer last week after he publicly showed support for former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei’s bid to amend the constitution.

Abdel Tawwab went on hunger strike until his lawyer, Mustafa Mahmoud, filed a complaint to the Prosecutor General against the officer in question containing accusations of torture and unlawful detention and the Prosecutor office called the officer for questioning.

After Abdel Tawwab’s case became public, the Minister of Interior maintained that there was no use of torture. ANHRI classifies this move as a clear step towards leaving the charged officer unpunished.

ANHRI said that allegations stating that Abdel Tawwab is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood are only a technique to hinder the investigation of the officer, “as if torture is acceptable against members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“I have been misled by the prosecution, said Mustafa Mahmoud, Abdel Tawab’s lawyer, in ANHRI’s press release, referring to the interrogation of the officer that took place “in the middle of the night, after the departure of the ANHRI lawyers from the prosecutor’s headquarters in Fayoum.

He added that the decline in public attention to Abdel Tawwab’s case will probably lead to the impunity of the officer: “The reality of torture will pass even though the file will remain open for months or years.

“This kind of impunity should not become a message to other officers of the Interior Ministry that torture is accepted, warns ANHRI at the end of its report.

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