2003 Report by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Theo van Boven


Urgent appeals

274. On 2 April 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal on behalf of Muhammad Zeki Muhammad Mahjoub, who was said to be at imminent risk of being forcibly returned to Egypt. He had reportedly been held in custody since June 2000 under a ministerial security certificate, because he is considered a threat to Canada. The Egyptian authorities are said to suspect him of being one of the leaders in exile of the armed Islamist group called Tali'at al-Fatah (Vanguard of the Conquest). He was reportedly sentenced in absentia in April 1999 to 15 years' imprisonment following an allegedly unfair trial of 107 people accused of being members of armed Islamist groups by Egypt’s Supreme Military Court. The defendants are said to include more than a dozen people forcibly returned to Egypt from various countries, who were reportedly held in unacknowledged incommunicado detention by the State Securtiy Investigation. Several defendants alleged that they had been tortured.

275. By letter dated 11 June 2002, the Government responded that no decision had been made by the Minister, under the 1985 Immigration Act, as to whether to deport him on security grounds. Any decision will involve a careful balancing of various factors, including the risk of torture, the possibility of seeking assurances and the possibility of compliance. When such a decision is taken, effective domestic remedies for challenging it will be available to Muhammad Zeki Muhammad Mahjoub. He may obtain a stay of execution of the removal order pending the exhaustion of those remedies.

276. On 18 November 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal on behalf of Manjinder Pal Singh, a Sikh from the State of Punjab, who was reportedly facing imminent and forcible repatriation to India, where he may be at risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment. It was reported that he was denied refugee status by the Immigration and Refugee Board on 11 December 2001. His recourse for humanitarian reasons was reportedly rejected on 16 November 2002. It was alleged that he had been harassed by the Punjab police because his brother- in- law, Sarjit, was believed to be a member of Dal Khalsa, an organization promoting the creation of Khalistan. On 12 October 2000, he was reportedly arrested and taken into police custody where he was reportedly suspended and repeatedly beaten, in particular on the sole of his feet, before being released on 14 October 2000. A few weeks later, he reportedly left for Canada. His family, including his wife and children, were said to have gone into hiding since then. Manjinder Pal Singh was allegedly suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and from a left anterior/posterior cruciate rupture on his left knee, for which he was under medical treatment.

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Cameroon Central African Republic

small logo   This report has been published by Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights on August 2, 2005.