Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Tue109 2018

Last update19:14 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Issues > Prisoners of Conscience
Outsourcing Torture
Outsourcing Torture
The Bush administration has called for the respect of human rights in Burma, a pretty safe piece of posturing, but it remains silent as Egypt’s dictator,
Saturday, November 17,2007 04:17
by Chris Hedges information clearing house

The Bush administration has called for the respect of human rights in Burma, a pretty safe piece of posturing, but it remains silent as Egypt’s dictator, Gen. Hosni Mubarak , unleashes the largest crackdown on public opposition in over a decade. Our moral indignation over the shooting of monks masks the incestuous and growing alliance we have built in the so-called war on terror with some of the world’s most venal dictatorships.

Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for 26 years and is grooming his son, Gamal, to succeed him, can torture and “disappear” dissidents—such as the Egyptian journalist Reda Hilal, who vanished four years ago—without American censure because he does the dirty work for us on those we “disappear.” The extraordinary-rendition program, which sees the United States kidnap and detain terrorist suspects in secret prisons around the world, fits neatly with the Egyptian regime’s contempt for due process. Those rounded up by American or Egyptian security agents are never granted legal rights. The abductors are often hooded or masked. If the captors are American the suspects are spirited onto a Gulfstream V jet registered to a series of dummy American corporations, such as Bayard Foreign Marketing of Portland, Ore., and whisked to Egypt or perhaps Morocco or Jordan. When these suspects arrive in Cairo they vanish into black holes as swiftly as dissident Egyptians. It is the same dirty and seamless process.

We have nothing to say to Mubarak. He is us. The general intelligence directorate in Lazoughli and in Mulhaq al-Mazra prison in Cairo allegedly holds many of our own detained and “disappeared.” The more savage the torture techniques of the Mubarak regime the faster the prisoners we smuggle into Egypt from Afghanistan and Iraq are broken down. The screams of Egyptians, Iraqis, Pakistanis and Afghans mingle in these prison cells to condemn us all.

We know little about what goes on in the black holes the CIA has set up in Egypt. But snapshots leak out. Ibn-al Shaykh al-Libi, who was captured by U.S. forces in late 2001, was an al-Qaida camp commander. He was taken to a prison in Cairo where he was repeatedly tortured by Egyptian officials. The Egyptian interrogators told the CIA that he had confirmed a relationship between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. The tidbit, used by then U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in his United Nations speech, turned out to be false. Victims usually will say anything to make severe torture stop. Al-Libi was eventually returned to Afghanistan, although he has again disappeared.
Mamduh Habib, an Egyptian-born citizen of Australia, was apprehended in October 2001 in Pakistan, where, his family says, he was touring religious schools. A Pentagon spokesman claimed that Habib spent most of his time in Afghanistan and was “either supporting hostile forces or on the battlefield fighting illegally against the U.S.”

Habib was released a few days after The Washington Post published an article on his case. He said he was first interrogated and brutalized for three weeks in Islamabad. His interrogators spoke English with American accents. He was then bustled into a jumpsuit, his eyes were covered with opaque goggles and he was flown on a small jet to Egypt. There he was held and interrogated for six months, according to Joseph Margulies, a lawyer affiliated with the MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Chicago Law School, which is representing Habib,.

Habib claims he was beaten frequently with blunt instruments, including an object that he likened to an “electric prod.” He was told that if he did not confess to belonging to al-Qaida he would be anally raped by specially trained dogs. Habib said he was returned to U.S. custody after his stint in an Egyptian prison and flown to Bagram air base, in Afghanistan, and then to Guantanamo Bay, where he was kept until his release.

Al-Libi and Habib are but two cases. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands more. These accounts of American-sponsored torture in Egyptian prisons are not new. They hardly make news. But the close cooperation between Egyptian and American security officials represents a frightening melding of despotisms, an international cabal of state-sponsored brutality and abuse. It does away with the concept of law and human rights. It mocks international protocols and treaties. It permits the despotic states we support, such as Egypt, to veer away from democratic structures and propagate, with our assistance, a more ruthless tyranny and brutality. It enrages and finally empowers those who oppose us to engage in the same behavior. It is dividing the world into competing spheres of intolerance. In this new world order there is nothing left to appeal to other than the mercy of someone standing over you with an electric prod.

Mubarak has in the past few weeks decided to shut down the last remnants of opposition. He has sent in riot police to arrest dozens of striking labor leaders, rounded up more than a thousand members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition group, and tossed seven journalists into prison. The charges against the journalists range from misquoting Egypt’s justice minister to spreading rumors about the health of Mubarak to defaming his designated heir, Gamal. The detainees, as usual, complain of torture and beatings. And persistent rumors of death squads, bolstered by the “disappearance” of some of the regime’s most outspoken critics, have turned Egypt into a state that has mastered the art of internal and external extraordinary rendition.

The few lonely Egyptian voices and institutions that dared to speak out against the mounting repression have been silenced, including the Association for Human Rights and Legal Aid, which was shut down by the government last month. The government also recently arrested two political activists—Mohammed al-Dereini and Ahmed Mohammed Sobh, both members of Egypt’s tiny Shiite minority—after the men publicized testimonies from prisoners detailing torture in the Egyptian prison system. Egypt’s most prominent dissident, the sociologist Saad Edin Ibrahim, is in exile, too frightened to go home and repeat his own brutal experience in an Egyptian prison.

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights has confirmed more than 500 cases of police abuse since 1993, including 167 deaths—three of which took place this year—that the group “strongly suspects were the result of torture and mistreatment.” There are now 80,000 political prisoners held in Egyptian prisons. The annual budget for internal security was $1.5 billion in 2006, more than the entire national budget for health care, and the security police forces comprise 1.4 million members, nearly four times the number of the Egyptian army.

The United States has subsidized Egypt’s armed forces with over $38 billion in aid. Egypt receives about $2 billion annually—$1.3 billion in foreign military financing and about $815 million in economic and support fund assistance—making it the second largest regular recipient of conventional U.S. military and economic aid, after Israel.

We have nothing left to say to the Mubarak regime. The torture practiced in Egypt is the torture we employ for our own ends. The cries that rise up from these fetid cells in Egypt condemn not only the Mubarak dictatorship but the moral rot that has beset the American state.

We are losing the war in Iraq. We are an isolated and reviled nation. We are pitiless to others weaker than ourselves. We have lost sight of our democratic ideals. Thucydides wrote of Athens’ expanding empire and how this empire led it to become a tyrant abroad and then a tyrant at home. The tyranny Athens imposed on others, it finally imposed on itself. If we do not confront our hubris and the lies we tell to justify the killing and mask the destruction carried out in our name in Iraq, if we do not grasp the moral corrosiveness of empire and occupation, if we continue to allow force and violence to be our primary form of communication, if we do not remove from power our flag-waving, cross-bearing versions of the Taliban, the despotism we empower abroad will become the despotism we soon experience at home.


Posted in Prisoners of Conscience , Human Rights , Torture  
Add Comment Send to Friend Print
Related Articles
YouTube shuts down Egyptian anti-torture activist’s account
Officer Who Tortured Citizen Gets 7 Years
Officer Who Tortured Citizen Gets 7 Years
Torture in Egypt.. overview
YouTube stops account of Egypt anti-torture activist
Egyptian Bloggers Reject Torture in Own Film Festival
MB Bloc Calls for Activating Society’s Role to Stop Torture
Karim Amer Tortured in Borg Alarab prison Demands to the Prosecutor-General to investigate the issue
Three police officers indicted in Qalubiya torture case
Outsourcing Torture
Torturing Palestinian Detainees
2 Police Officers Torture 5 Children, Force them to Sodomize Each other in Police Station
Blogger Karim Amer Tortured in Burj Al-Arab Prison
Egyptian Citizen Dies of Torture in Police Station
Torture.. When it’s turn into a technique
BACKGROUND: ’Dirty and seamless’: Egypt’s torture is our torture (Chris Hedges)
Outsourcing Torture
Egyptian bloggers expose horror of police torture
The Un-American Way of Torture
Egyptian bloggers expose horror of police torture
Promises of Hunting Torture Suspected Officers in Al Fayyum Victim’s Conference
Al Fayyum Police Torture Citizen to Death, Families Refuses to Take Body
Hamido Tortured to death by Egyptian Police
New Torture Incident Committed by Egyptian Police
"Egyptians against Torture" to Kick off
Exclusive to Ikhwanweb: Footage of Torturing Citizen in front Al-Haram Police Station
Exclusive to Ikhwanweb, Video showing the tortured child -Mohamed Mamdouh-
Aljazeera.net Poll: Torture in Egypt a Systematic Policy
12 yrs Child Tortured to Death by Policemen
When will torture in Egypt end?
Giza Citizen Tortured, Killed
Islamists accuse Egypt police of kidnap, torture
New Torture Case in New Cairo Police Station
Egyptian Police Torture Dakahlia Citizen to Death
The Torture of 6 Boys,Kafr Alzayat,Gharbia
The Brotherhood’s Legislatives Launch a Severe Campaign on Torture
Calls for Combating Torture at Police Stations
The Interior Minister Faces Inquiry on Torture
Justice Ministry Admits Torture Cases
The Egyptian Parliament Tackles Torture Issues
The Brotherhood’s MP Asks for Reply on Torture Instance
New Torture Scandal in Police Stations
New Episode of Torture in Police Stations
Egypt tortures for the US, so why not on its own account?
Torture and Silence: This Year’s Arab Spring?
Egypt: AOHR Discusses Prison Torture Crimes Before Parliament
Protests Planned In Response To Alleged Torture
Popular Tribunal To Try Police Officers Accused of Torture
Who Stands behind torture in Egypt ?
Int’l of Torture: The Documents the Crown Would Like to Censor
Israel Plans Torture Center for Abducted Lebanese
Jordan accused of torturing suspects for U.S.
PA Minister: PLC speaker was tortured by Israelis
EOHR: 81 Died Under Torture in Police Custody in 5 Years
Palestinian Abductees: Torture Expression of Jewish Sadism
Sinai torture fields
Torture by degrees
Torture videos to be investigated?
Egypt: Citizen Tortured by State Security Agents in Al Fayyum
Egypt: MB Condemns Tortures Against Members in Menoufeya
FEATURE-Egypt Internet video sharpens torture debate
Kafr Al-Sheikh citizen tortured, threatened with raping wife
HRW to Egypt: Hold Police Accountable for Torture
Al-Wadi Al-Gadid Detainees commit suicide to escape torture
An Egyptian Police Torture Story
Boulaq torturers to be tried 9 January
Egyptian police torture woman detainee (Videos)
MB MPs Lodge Urgent Statements over Latest Detentions, Warn of Torturing Detainees
Amnisty International: Four Tunisians risk torture on return
Partial Blacklist of Egyptian Police Officers Accused of Torture
Salsabeel Comp. Detained Employees Released after State Security Tortures
Torture victim receives 3 months in prison for “resisting authorities”!
Marking 4th Anniversary of Torturing State Security Detainee No.25
Torture Me If You Can
Egypt bloggers reveal new torture case
Bloggers, Kifaya and Ikhwanweb Against Torture
El-Adly Video-Gate: Imbaba Police Detain Torture Victim’s Father
Egyptian Security Storms House of Torture Victim, Detains Wife, Father
Egypt: Officer Who Tortured, Killed Citizen Appears Before Trial Today
Torture video sparks outrage
Yet another face of torture
Tortured then Threatened to keep quite
These Moderates Are in Fact Fanatics, Torturers and Killers
Man claims torture in Egypt after refugee claim turned down
Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program
263 Torture Cases in Egyptian Police Stations in 6 Yrs: Rights Organization
The US psychological torture system is finally on trial
New Torture Video Revealed In Egypt
Egypt in the dock over tactics of police torturers
Egyptian MP: Torture Is Systematic Under Current Regime
Egypt: Citizen Handicapped in Upper Limbs Due to Prison Torture
Bloggers and Rights Activists Against Torture Meeting
HRW to Mubarak’s regime: Investigate police torture, rape of blogger Sharqawi
Fighting Torture with Mobile Phones and Weblogs
Anti-torture activists: Mubarak’s police knows no limit
Tortured 11 Yrs Ago In Egypt
Wives of Egyptian Detainees Accuse Interior Ministry of Torturing Husbands
MPs Accuse Gov’t of Turning Police Stations Into Torture Centers
Saudi Arabia: New Video Confirms Torture in Prison
Brotherhood Parliamentarian Demands Ousting Interior Minister Over Torture
Egypt: TV journalist detained for denouncing torture
State Security Detains, Tortures 8 Al-Azhar Students
Security Forces Torture, Sexually Harass Luxor Family
Egyptian Citizen Tortured To Death Inside Police Station
Kafr Al-Sheikh Brotherhood Member Tortured By SSF
Gharbiya Citizen Tortured Till Deafness
Egypt Joins Human Rights Council... With More Tortures
Police Tortured MB Students During Thier Detention
A Visit to Fatah’s Torture Chamber
El-Adly Audiogate: Confessions of a Police Torturer
Egypt’s Tortures: Whole Family Tortured in Sharqiya
Abu Zuhri: Gaza Detentions, Tortures Groundless Claims
Egypt: Gov’t Blocks Ikhwanweb After Exposing Torture Cases
State Security Arrest, Torture Son Of Dakahlia Detainee
Egyptian report denounces torture
The Fourth Anniversary of the Torture of Detainee #25
Torture Victim Kidnapped To Prevent Airing His Story On TV Show
MB MP Accuses Interior Ministry of Turing Police Stations Into Torture Centers
Call for release of blogger who reports on torture of detainees
Defendants In Al Azhar Explosions Case Accuse Gov’t of Torture
Torture did not break him, so they detained him again
Egyptian Interior Ministry Acknowledges Police Torture Cases
More Torture Victims In Egypt
Tortured Tunisian Sends Message from Prison