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Human Rights Group Denounces Torture in Egypt - 2002-11-13


The human rights group Amnesty International has issued a report denouncing what it calls the systematic practice of torture in Egyptian jails.

Ministry of interior officials in Egypt told VOA they would have no comment on the Amnesty report, which says that everyone in custody in Egyptian jails, including housewives and children, is at risk of being tortured.

Amnesty International says political detainees and members of Islamist groups are at the highest risk.

Even though Egyptian law forbids torture, the report said in the vast majority of torture cases no one is brought to justice because authorities fail to conduct prompt, impartial and thorough investigations.

The human rights group said Egyptian authorities must let it be known that torture will never be tolerated and those responsible will be punished. Several policemen and prison officers have been jailed in recent months after detainees were tortured to death.

The Amnesty report also expresses concern about the use of military courts to conduct trials in Egypt.

The human rights group blames the military courts, in part, for a rise in cases of alleged torture in Egyptian jails.