Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Amnesty International asks: When Will Egypt’s State of Emergency End?

The Egyptian government went before the United Nations Human Rights Council last month and insisted that there is no torture and that State of Emergency provisions are used only against terrorists.
Tell that to Dr. Taha Abdel Tawab.
The doctor, a well-known supporter of former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei, was allegedly taken to a state security office and tortured for his support for ElBaradi, who is frequently named as a potential opposition presidential candidate.  According to the Arab human rights organization ANHRI, Tawab was transferred to Senorus hospital in serious condition.
ANHRI has asked government officials to investigate the incident but say they have not received a response.  Egypt has a long history of failing to provide public, independent investigations of security officers accused of torture.
The incident comes just days after Amnesty International called upon the Egyptian government to implement UN recommendations that would end torture and other abuses done in the name of security.
The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights’ findings, made public on March 9, criticized abuses made in the name of national security in Egypt.  The report criticized the wide discretion allowed to the SSI and commented that “SSI officers in practice enjoy carte blanche in deciding on whom to arrest”. MORE HERE

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