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Interior minister orders investigation into Alexandria torture claims

By-Omnia Al Desoukie-Daily News Egypt | 18 September 2011

CAIRO: Minister of Interior Mansour El-Essawy ordered an investigation into the case of an Alexandria citizen who alleged he was tortured and sodomized at a police station earlier this month, the official news agency MENA reported.

Emad Abdel-Azim, who is on probation, claimed that he was tortured and sodomized at the hands of officer Emad Abdel-Zaher on Sept. 5 after he was taken for failing to report to the police station.
 
“I was asked why I don’t report to the police station, and I said that after [former interior minister Habib] El-Adly was sent to trial I did not come because there were no police officers there,” Abdel-Azim told Daily News Egypt.
 
He said that Abdel-Zaher attacked him as soon as he mentioned El-Adly, beating him with his shoes, and then ordered other officers to strip him and sodomize him with a pen.
 
Abdel-Azim said he left the police station to the prosecution who sent him to a public hospital to check his wounds and investigate the assault.
 
“The physician at the hospital just checked my back and refused to continue the check up, telling me it was ‘enough’ so I went back to the prosecution and requested to be seen by the forensic department, but I was turned away,” he told DNE.
 
The Nassar Center for Human Rights also filed a complaint against the Alexandria police officer, accusing him of the alleged torture of 33-year-old microbus driver Emad Abdel-Azim.
 
Ahmed Nassar, head of the Nassar Center for Human Rights, also filed a complaint at the Attorney General against the doctor at the public hospital for negligence.
 
“It has been 10 days, if Emad is not checked now they won’t be able to investigate the evidence as the marks of the assault will wane,” Nassar told Daily News Egypt.
 
Abdel-Azim claimed that police officers broke into his father’s home last week after he refused to drop the case when contacted by a detective from Menya El-Basal Police Station in Alexandria.
 
“I told him I want my rights,” Abdel-Azim said.
 
The driver wrote a letter to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) appealing to them to help him.
 
Nassar said that a group of activists in Alexandria vowed to stage sit-ins if Abdel Zaher wasn’t immediately prosecuted.
 
The officer is allegedly connected to the case of Khaled Saied, who was killed last year. A Facebook group created for Saied helped garner support for the uprising that toppled then-president Hosni Mubarak earlier this year. The verdict in the case of Saeid’s murder is expected this month. Two low ranking policemen are facing charges of using excessive force.
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