HRW Statement on Ahmed Maher
Human Rights Watch issued a statement on Ahmed Maher two days ago. It urges the Egyptian authorities to investigate the case.
On May 7th, the facebook activist´s car was stopped on the street and he was pulled into a minibuss by eight-12 men in civilian clothes. He was handcuffed, blindfolded and taken to the New Cairo(al Qahira al Jadida) police station were he was stripped naked, and subjugated to beatings, mostly on his back and neck.
After roughly three hours he was taken to the SSI headquarters at Lazoughli(Mabahes amn ad Dawla), were he was once again stripped to his underwear and threatend to be raped, and beaten off and on while being asked for the password, and details of group members of the April 6th facebook group.
According to Maher, the SSI officers used lotion on his body in between beatings in order to reduce bruising.
He was released before dawn the next day, May 8th, so he was held for about 12-14 hours, without being charged for anything.
Joe Stork , Deputy Director of the Middle East at the HRW views this as part of a pattern:
“This is the work of thugs, pure and simple.The government must show that those responsible for upholding the law are also subject to the law. Sadly, Maher’s treatment is part of a pattern of abuse and extralegal intimidation by state officials. Egypt needs to put an end to the lawlessness of its law-enforcement officers.”
The occurence of the incident was denied by an Egyptian security official who asked to remain anonymous according to AFP.
Unfortunately the pattern that Stork talks about is as crystal clear as the Alexandria summer sun, we have grown all too familiar with cases like Qandil, Sharqawi, ash Shaér and Imad al Kabir ower the last years, only to name but a few. unfortunately this is most likely, only the tip of the iceberg. Most cases still remain behind the sun.
UPDATE: Amira al Husseini has a roundup of the case here, with a video-clip with Ahmed showing how the upper part of his body looked like after having spent 12 hours at al Qahira al Gedida police station and SSI headquarters at Lazoughli.