Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Amnesty International report on Egypt: Systematic abuses in the name of security

Amnesty International issued a report on Egypt today called, Systematic abuses in the name of security. The press release can be found here , and an article by the BBC on the report here.

The report covers arbitrary arrests, unlawful detention, torture, unfair trials and highlights five cases of unlawful transfers to torture(rendition), among them the high profile case of Abu Omar who was rendered from Milano Italy, allegedly by the CIA, and the first rendition case from western Europe, Ahmed Agiza and Muhamed Az Zary, whom were taken from Sweden in December 2001, also the first case with diplomatic assurances , the deal struck by Swedish undersecretary of State Gun-Britt Andersson and Omar Soliman. This case has been used as a precedent for some governments in Europe and several cases with diplomatic assurances has followed, not only to Egypt. The Egyptian PM Ahmed Nazif admitted to 60-70 cases of rendition to Egypt in May 2005. Amnesty International demands that:

"The Egyptian authorities must come clean and disclose the number, names, nationality and current whereabouts of all terrorism suspects extradited, subjected to 'rendition' or otherwise transferred into their custody from abroad," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of AI's Middle East and North Africa Programme. “It must also lift the shroud of impunity that protects those who torture in the name of the state."

The report states that 18 000 prisoners are currently in administrative detention, without trial, some for years.

The report ends with six recommendations to the Egyptian government:

* repeal all emergency legislation that allows for human rights violations, particularly unfair trials before emergency and military courts, and cease such violations;

* ensure that the planned new anti-terrorism law complies fully with international human rights law and standards;

* condemn torture and other ill-treatment, ensure that all allegations of such abuses are promptly and independently investigated, and bring the perpetrators to justice;

* end incommunicado and secret detention;

* end administrative detention; and

* make public the names of all alleged terrorist suspects who have been unlawfully transferred to Egypt from US custody and other countries, and end all participation in unlawful transfers into and out of Egypt.


1 Comments:

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