I apologize to readers if what I write will upset the sensitivity of someone, but sometimes reality is truer than what we might expect, even in a country like Egypt. On July 5, 2013, the Egyptian army overthrew the last democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi. From this day, as a Human Rights Watch complaint in the reports released on September 5th, torture has once again become one of the instruments used by the police, under the eyes of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who seems to have given a free hand to the Interior Ministry in order to political stability, wanted at all costs. Such is desired that the same administration al-Sisi is staining of the same horrors, that had bring in 2011 to revolution. 




The police controlled by the Interior Ministry and its National Security Agency have widely used arbitrary charges, forced catches and torture against dissidents, often real or alleged members, sympathizers of the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition party to al-Sisi. The Egyptian Independent Rights and Freedoms Coordination (ECRF), a human rights group, has identified thirty people killed under torture at police stations and other detention sites in the Interior Ministry, including August 2013 and December 2015. Attorneys in the group, offering legal assistance to victims' families, received in 2016 over 830 complaints of torture, recording another fourteen dead in custody. ECRF has revealed that police forces are usually tortured by political prisoners with beatings, electric shocks, stressful behaviours, and rape. 
HRW interviewed nineteen former detainees and the family of another arrested, tortured between 2014 and 2016, demonstrating how the agents and officers of the National Security Agency use the torture instrument during their investigations by forcing suspected dissidents to confess, or divulge information, or in some cases punish them without a fair trial, as would be the same Egyptian and international legislature. Former detainees reported that they had been arrested, without any evidence, that they were forcibly locked up, tortured and beaten until a confessional was deposited in front of public prosecutors. The same officers of the classrooms would press the defendants to confirm their statements under torture without questioning the violations they suffered. A kind of fairy-tale processes, where national security officers manipulate up to date arrests. In some cases, it has been said that the defendant was arrested the day before, while the subject would be taken to the cell several weeks before, without the possibility of contacting his family and without a minimum of legal assistance. 

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Undiscovered behaviours expressly prohibited by the Egyptian constitution, which provides for the arrest only after an interrogation, which must only take place in the presence of an attorney. The law also grants the defendants the right not to respond, as well as providing that the detainee must be brought to a prosecutor within 24 hours of the capture. Always after he was informed of the reason for his arrest. Always according to the Constitution, the suspect is allowed to contact a lawyer and a family member. Cairo law "forbids the torture, intimidation, coercion and physical or moral damages of detainees" and states that torture is a "lawless crime". 
It also foresees that any declaration made under cruelty or threats should be ignored, respecting the commitments made by Egypt with the international community in achieving standards of respect for human rights. HRW interviewees said their sad experiences began with a dawn blitz in their home, or with police appoints along the way they usually go to the workplace, the university or the places they were attending, without a mandate being shown to them, but above all without seeing the reasons for the arrest. In some cases, while the suspects were taken to police stations or national security offices, other agents also arrested their relatives.

In the twenty cases described, most of the torture took place in police offices, while six men said they had been subjected to torture for decades at the headquarters of the National Security Agency at the Interior Ministry in Cairo.
Torture has led five of the interviewed to confess by reading lines prepared ad hoc by agents, filmed on a video and spread on social network. The Human Rights Watch investigation comes in a particularly authoritarian climate: arrests and expulsions for several "uncomfortable" journalists, young Protestants tortured in Alexandria, in addition to the arrest of a former Finance Minister and his brother, slaughtered with electric shock to the confession of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. Among the many cases reported in the press that touches particulary Italians, it’s the case of Giulio Regeni. The body of the Friulan student, killed in circumstances yet to be clarified, had "several signs of beatings, torture, cigarette burns, bruises and a cut ear," as he said the chief prosecutor of Giza, Ahmad Nagi. 


"The detainees - said the report - that at the beginning of the torture sections are bandaged, stripped and handcuffed, they are hit with an electric gun often in sensitive areas such as the ears or head while being slapped and beaten with bars metallic". If detainees do not provide satisfactory answers to their initial questions, "officers increase the duration and intensity of electric shocks and use a stun gun at other parts of the body, almost always the genitals." If the shocks were not enough, Human Right Watch writes, "the officers go to two types of stress positions to inflict serious sorrow on the suspects," coming to hang the prisoners at the doors or the ceiling with handcuffs, wrists, and shoulders turned for minutes, or hours. But the descriptions in the report do not stop at this, a former detainee reported that he was penetrated with a stick by Cairo policemen. Another, instead, declared that "a national security officer has penetrated his arm with a metallic nail wrapped in an electric wire to increase the pain of electric shocks." A lawyer held by national security officers in the governorate structure Gharbiya said that "the officers wrapped a wire around his penis, feeding the electricity. "The report denounces the total lack of respect for international law, with the participation of some Prosecutors, who would not take into account the stories of the tortures suffered by the detainees. 

Torture is a crime against humanity? For al-Sisi would seem not, for HRW oh yes! They recommend  President al-Sisi to instituting a special prosecutor or an inspector general to investigate allegations of abuses by Interior Ministry officials. According to international law, torture represents a crime of universal jurisdiction, that is, prosecuted everywhere, so we wait a concrete reaction by UN...


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