The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
Five cases of death in police stations
Cairo 18, August 1999 Five cases of death in police stations (Who is responsible?) EOHR issues a report on cases of death in police stations which are strongly suspected to have occurred as a result of severe torture Despite statements by the Minister of Interior and other officials asserting their concern for improving relations between the police and citizens, reality seems to prove otherwise. Violations are still widespread in police stations according to reports documented by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) and other human rights organizations in Egypt as part of their ongoing campaigns against torture and ill-treatment of citizens in police stations. EOHR regrets to inform that, in the period between February to July 1999, it monitored five cases of death in police stations. The organization strongly suspects that the deaths may have been the result of severe torture. The investigations carried out by the organization found evidence that the victims were subjected to torture by the police. The main premise of EOHR's report is that torture is not merely a practice that violates the dignity of the victim, but a tragedy that deprives victims of their right to life. This report focuses on the following victims of torture 1. Sa'eed Sayid Abdel-Aal Salim, aged 27, worker, died on 17 April 1999 in El-Omraneya police station, Giza. 2. Ahmed Mahmoud Mohamed Tammam, aged 19, high school student, died on 21 July 1999 also in El-Omraneya police station. 3. Hany Kamal Shawky, aged 22, first-year student at the Faculty of Commerce of Shebeen El-Koum, died on 21 April 1999 in El-Azbakeya police station, Cairo. 4. Hamdy Ahmed Mohamed Askar, aged 42, cook, died on 16 February 1999 in Al-Mansoura General Hospital, where he had been transferred from Mansoura I police station. 5. Amr Salim Mohamed, aged 18, butcher, died on 17 July 1999 in El-Khosous police station, El-Khanka, Kalyoubeya governorate. Aware of the seriousness of the matter, EOHR, in the name of the families of the deceased, refers this report "To whom it may concern", and asks "Who is responsible?" How is it possible that a citizen enters a police station alive and later the family receives his body from some hospital morgue? Therefore, on the basis of the provisions of the Egyptian Constitution and human rights standards which prohibit torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, EOHR calls for investigations into the events included in this report. It also warns against irresponsible practices by policemen which threaten human rights and social peace in Egypt. The organization issues a strong appeal to the Egyptian authorities to commit to the statements made by officials to respect human rights, to end torture and ill-treatment in police stations, and to take the necessary legal and practical measures to prevent these practices. EOHR calls on all active forces of Egyptian civil society to join efforts to secure respect for the life and dignity of Egyptian citizens, to which torture is the most serious threat.
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