Aljazeera.net Poll: Torture in Egypt a Systematic Policy
|Wednesday, August 15,2007 14:28|
A poll on Aljazeera.net over torture inside police stations and prisons in Egypt showed that 68.7 % of the surfers who participated in the three day poll- that ended last Tuesday – saw that torture in these facilities is systematic and organized.
Up to 31.3 % of the participants saw that torture is an exceptional case.
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights confirmed that torture has become common inside police stations and prisons in Egypt .
It pointed out that three persons have died so far out of torture this year. Also, the organization reported that 567 cases of torture have been committed by the police since 1993, including 167 cases of torture to death.
For his part, the human rights activist, Mohamed Zarea ", the chairman of Human Rights Center for the Assistance of Prisoners (HRCAP), said about this poll:" Torturing has mushroomed in Egypt . Nearly all police stations are implicated in such crimes. This frightening spread of torture cases is a result of the methods adopted by police officers".
Zarea pointed out that:" The police officers do their duty. They must find the committed of any crime, which is definitely impossible. They work under pressures to find committers of crimes and they have personal gains from unveiling doers. So they do whatever they can to prove charges against persons."
Mohamed Zara adds that" The policemen are fully convinced that they restore rights to people."
Zarea added also that officers are also convinced that: the criminals- mostly mere suspects- have no protection, and that they are criminals by nature so they must be tortured because they- according to the officers- will commit more crimes unless they are tortured. For these reasons, torture has become a widespread phenomenon in Egypt .
Zarea added also that the public prosecution does not do its role well. "The public prosecution does not carry out a continuous inspection in police stations. In the few times in which the public prosecution inspected police stations, it unveiled many violations that included tools used for torturing like whips, batons, drugs, several weapons and wines- all are actionable by law. It even found cases which are planned to be fabricated against certain persons. When there moves to move, many actual violations are revealed."
Zarea confirmed that torture in Egypt isn’t committed by mere orders, but it is committed throughout the time and is totally ignored by security leaders. These leaders adopt the principle that every person solves his problems by himself and every officer tries to take whatever confessions he wants from the suspect by whatever means including torture."
Zarea added that " We can deduce from this that security leaders don’t defend their officers desperately and if they do, it may be for a short period of time. We find finally that only a few number of officers are punished."
“The way with which officers are chosen affects the spread of the phenomenon in Egypt . Policemen are primarily chosen from among dignitaries and people of power. Therefore, we find that any officer has relatives backed by officials. He can’t be easily brought to justice. When a torture case emerges and one of these officers is exposed, dozens of figures in the Egyptian society, not only from the police sector, intervene and try to find compromises to end the problem with the tortured victim. This takes place through many methods like exercising pressures on the family of the victim who may be dealt a permanent injury due to torture, to reach compromises or freeze the case.
Zarea pointed out that the problem is that there is no specific punishment or even a any real supervision from security leaders over police torturers.
Asked whether these unabated tortures and human rights violations can be stopped, he said:" These tortures and violations of human rights will never stop in Egypt unless through a decision from the political leadership."
“If the political command intervened in any thing in Egypt , its decision is immediately implemented. If Egypt decides to release political detainees, the release will takes place immediately. This includes also decisions of improving prison conditions” he said