HRW: Egypt must Investigate Police Sexual Assaults and Beatings
(Cairo, May 31, 2006) – President Hosni Mubarak should immediately order an independent judicial investigation into last Thursday’s severe beatings by security agents of political activists Karim al-Sha`ir and Mohamed al-Sharqawi, Human Rights Watch said today. Police also sexually assaulted al-Sharqawi, according to a written statement he smuggled out of prison.
On May 25, agents of the State Security Investigations (SSI) bureau of the Interior Ministry arrested al-Sha`ir and al-Sharqawi as they were leaving a peaceful demonstration in downtown Cairo. Both men said they were beaten in custody.
“The Egyptian government must investigate these attacks and punish the perpetrators,” said Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch. “President Mubarak should put a stop to repeated outrages by agents of the state.”
In his statement, al-Sharqawi wrote that his captors at the Qasr al-Nil police station beat him for hours and then raped him with a cardboard tube. Then they sent him to the State Security prosecutor’s office in Heliopolis. His lawyer told Human Rights Watch that he saw al-Sharqawi at the prosecutor’s office around midnight that night. “There wasn’t a single part of his body not covered in bruises and gashes,” the lawyer said.
Eyewitnesses told Human Rights Watch that security agents beat al-Sha`ir in the street. According to his lawyer, al-Sha`ir said that the beatings continued once he was in police custody. More....