Egyptian police jailed for torture

Two officers given "the heaviest sentencing of police for torture in 20 years".

    Al-Kabir's trial has been described as a landmark case and other victims have begun to come forward 

    "I wanted nothing else. It's justice, finally."
     
    Al-Kabir said Nabih and Fathi tortured him in a Cairo police station after he was detained and beaten up for intervening to stop an argument between the police officers and his brother.

     

    Court officials said both men will appeal the verdict.

     

    In Video


    The man who fought the law and won

    Amr El Kahky, Al Jazeera's Cairo correspondent, met al-Kabir days before the ruling.

     

    Al-Kabir told him: "People now get beaten, humiliated and tortured. These people need someone to defend them, to cry out to stop torture.

     

    International and local rights campaigners say torture is widespread and systematic in Egyptian jails and police stations; past victims have reported that they have been given electric shocks and beatings.

     

    'Systematic' torture

     

    Egypt says it opposes torture and prosecutes policemen against whom it has evidence that they tortured.

     

    Al-Kabir's trial has been described as a landmark case and other people have since come forward to report incidents of alleged police brutality.

     

    One policeman is now facing trial over allegedly beating a farmer to death in the Egyptian Delta.

     

    "I insist that our police are totally against these violations... This behaviour is not what they are taught in the police academy"

    Mahmoud Sharif, retired Egyptian police general

    In another case, a police corporal is alleged to have thrown a man from a fourth floor balcony to force him to withdraw a complaint against him.

     

    The police department does not comment publicly but their supporters deny all allegations of systematic abuse and violations of human rights.

     

    Mahmoud Sharif, a retired police general, said: "I insist that our police are totally against these violations. Perhaps the individual police officer was provoked, or could have been overworked.


    "This behaviour is not what they are taught in the police academy."

     

    The two officers sentenced on Monday faced up to 15 years in prison, but Judge Samir Abul Mati said that "because the accused are young and inexperienced" he had been lenient.

     

    Nasser Amin, the lawyer who brought the case, said the verdict was "the heaviest sentencing of police for torture in 20 years".

     

    Amin, who also heads the Arab Centre for the Independence of the Judiciary, said he was satisfied with the verdict which sent a message that" police officers will not be protected if they carry out such crimes.

     

    "Egyptian justice has decided no longer to ignore this kind of crime," he said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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