WikiLeaks: Egypt official denies human rights violations

State Security general says monitoring, harassing NGOs is necessary, opposes use of the term "torture" to describe methods.

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February 3, 2011 11:40
1 minute read.
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human rights watch 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Egypt's State Security Investigative Service (SSIS) denied "interference with religious freedom and "systemic" torture reported by Human Rights Watch, according to an US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks on Thursday.

SSIS General Hassan Abdel Rahman met with Human Rights Watch official Joe Stork in November 2007, as Stork's organization prepared to unveil a report on rights violations in Egypt.

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Stork told then-US Ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner that Abdel Rahman's attitude was "we don't do bad things."

"Abdel Rahman said that he commands over 40,000 police officers and told Stork he could count on one hand the number who had committed abuses," the cable reads.

Abdel Rahman also opposed the use of the term "torture," because it implies something "systemic," he said, claiming that Egyptian security services were "badly maligned."

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In response to questions about the SSIS monitoring and harassing NGOs, Abdel Rahman said such action was essential because the organizations are controlled by "anarchists" that "need monitoring."

Stork told Wisner that he felt he did not make any significant progress.

In a separate meeting with Colonel Hisham Abdel Hamid, SSIS' Human Rights liaison, Wisner was informed that the SSIS saw the meeting in a more positive light.

Abdel Hamid described to Wisner the SSIS' policy of rewarding "best human rights practices" and disciplining of officers who violate human rights.

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