SIS denounces HRW claims over mistreatment of an Egyptian-American citizen in police custody

Fatma Lotfi
3 Min Read

Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) denounced on Sunday Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) recent report on alleged torture and forcible disappearance of an Egyptian-American citizen.

In a statement, the SIS said that the international organisation’s report “deliberately missed mentioning the whole facts and ignored the SIS statements regarding the case of the defendant Khaled Hassan.”

“The HRW sent two emails to the SIS on September 23rd and 25th 2018 regarding the case of Khaled Hassan, inquiring about allegations of torturing and his forcible disappearance,” read the SIS’s statement.

As a result, the SIS noted that it sent an email after two days mentioning some contradictory details in the HRW’s first email. The SIS also inquired about some details regarding investigations held by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), but the HRW according to the SIS’s statement, ignored its request. 

The SIS criticised the HRW for ignoring its detailed statements regarding Hassan’s case, which “is a clear indication for the lack of credibility and professionalism in reviewing facts.”

Last Thursday, the HRW said in a report that Khaled Hassan, 41, a limousine driver, was held by Egyptian authorities for four months. According to the report, Hassan “provided detailed allegations of torture, including two allegations of rape, to HRW.”

The HRW said that Hassan was arrested and disappeared on January 8, 2018, in Alexandria. However, “his arrest was not publicly acknowledged until he appeared before a military prosecutor for the first time on 3 May,” the HRW noted.

Furthermore, the HRW said it was “able to interview two members of Hassan’s family, and to review their communications to the authorities seeking information about his whereabouts.”

The family members told the HRW that “Egyptian officials had ordered Hassan’s wife and children to leave the country, and offered them no legal recourse,” noting that they are now in the US.

In his account to the HRW, Hassan’s brother said that “several days following (Hassan’s) disappearance, men in civilian clothes broke into Hassan’s home, where his Peruvian wife and his three Egyptian-American children lived.”

The HRW said in its report that when it contacted the SIS regarding Hassan, the state body “denied that Hassan had been forcibly disappeared or tortured, adding that it “also said his lawyers had not filed an official request for him to be examined by forensic doctors.”

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A journalist in DNE's politics section with more than six years of experience in print and digital journalism, focusing on local political issues, terrorism and human rights. She also writes features on women issues and culture.
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