Group accuses Egypt's military of torture

2012-05-19 22:48
Cairo - An international rights group on Saturday accused the Egyptian armed forces of beating and torturing protesters arrested during antimilitary demonstrations early this month, and said that by permitting such actions the military "enables further abuse".

The three days of street clashes in Cairo that began on 2 May and left nine civilians dead were the latest in a string of deadly confrontations between the military and protesters in Egypt since a council of ruling generals took power 15 months ago.

In its violent crackdown on the May demonstrations outside the Defence Ministry, the military arrested more than 300 people and referred them to military tribunals.

Human Rights Watch condemned the military's response to the protests, and said in a statement on Saturday that people caught in the roundup and since released have given "consistent accounts of torture and abuse during arrest and in detention".

"The brutal beating of both men and women protesters shows that military officers have no sense of limits on what they can do," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director for the New York-based group.

HRW also criticised soldiers who did nothing as apparent supporters of Egypt's military rulers opened fire on 2 May on demonstrators holding a sit-in outside the ministry, killing nine people.

Days later, the military detained about 350 protesters as part of its crackdown on the protests and put them on trial before military tribunals. At least 256 of those arrested remain in detention, HRW said.

Egypt rattled

Shahira Abouellail, an activist against military trials of civilians, said the recent violence showed that the military is "not concerned about their public image and I think this has to do with people being so distracted with elections that they think they can get away with murder".

The protests rattled Egypt just weeks ahead of landmark presidential elections, the first since longtime authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak's ouster last year. The vote marks the first time Egyptians will choose their leader in a race overseen by international monitors.

Mubarak's regime routinely rigged elections and intimidated voters during his nearly 30-year rule.

On Saturday, the deputy chief of Egypt's election commission, Hatem Bagato, showed reporters a number of new security measures that will be used in an effort to ensure the vote is transparent and fair, including ballots with embedded security stamps that cannot be photocopied and transparent folders in which judges monitoring the vote will place the results from the polling centres they observe.

The commission said there are around 50 million eligible voters in Egypt, and that there will be judges at thousands of polling stations to monitor the process.

Egyptian consulates say up to 300 000 Egyptians cast their votes abroad already.

There total results from abroad have not been announced yet, but Egypt's most powerful political force, the Muslim Brotherhood, claimed its candidate had won the greatest share of those votes, which are mostly concentrated in the conservative Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Votes abroad also do not necessarily reflect how the elections will play out locally.

- SAPA
Read more on:    hrw  |  hosni mubarak  |  egypt  |  egypt protests  |  north africa  |  uprisings
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may be bothering you. A flooded mind and impulsive reactions are not a good combination as you are not thinking clearly....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.