Human rights activists have reported that a number of political detainees, including men and women, were tortured and raped while in police custody in Egypt.
Hytham Abu Khalil, a leading activist, told a news conference organised by the “Justice for Egypt” society in Geneva, Switzerland that 22-year-old university student who was also a member of the al-Nour Salafi party, was tortured and grossly raped inside a police station in Nasr city.
The Egyptian government has refused to comment on the alleged abuse of detainees.
Local media outlets have also turned a deaf ear to the claims and have to declined to launch official inquiries.
The student of al-Azhar University is still detained since he was arrested along with one of his colleagues in a police ambush at the city’s al-Jabal al-Ahmar district. He was arrested late last February because a slogan for “Rabaa al-Adawiya” was found posted on his cellphone.
The victim was reportedly tortured by knives, electrocution and was beaten fiercely. He was then taken to a second-floor room where he was raped by security forces because he denied accusations that he was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
He was also forced to name military coup leader Abdul Fattah al-Sisi “a great hero” and chanting a song titled: “Taslam al-Ayadi” ( may our deeds be blessed), Abu Khalil added..
Abu Khalil has called Egyptian and international civil rights organizations to intervene and help rescue the victim. He has also called the Egyptian attorney general Hisham Barakat to immediately release the victim, launch an immediate inquiry into the violations and announce the results to the Egyptian people.
Khalil also says he is holding Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim fully responsible for guaranteeing the safety of the attacked student and his family.
‘Acts of shame’
For his part, lawyer and human rights activist Ahmaed Bahaaddin has reaffirmed that rape crimes occur inside Egyptian prisons and detention centres, saying they were “shameful acts that smear the image of the ruling regime that gravely undermine Egypt’s honour and reputation both internally and abroad, after the Egyptian police opted for systematically abusing innocent civilians, instead of protecting them”.
In a statement to Al-Jazeera, Bahaaddin added that police torture and humiliate those arrested by beating and kicking them, then gradually stepping up the violations into rape or homicide, particularly against young victims.
Bahaaddin has asserted the difficulty in counting the number of those exposed to rape attacks inside police stations because many of those rape victims fear admitting the abuse or are still in custody.
Mustafa al-Hadda, another human rights activist, confirmed that what had occurred to the student from al-Azhar, was not the first incident of its kind in Egypt. This is because the incumbent regime has allegedly adopted the abuse as a policy against opponents of the government.
“The policy is to humiliate, traumatize and to render them politically impotent”, al-Hadda said.
Al-Hadda has disclosed to Al Jazeera that a group of detained students, including political activist Khalid al-Sayed, were raped in al-Azbakiya and Qasr al-Niel police stations after they were arrested for protesting.