end kidnappings and torture in Egypt
Under the watch of Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, the pattern of enforced disappearances has become more apparent. Egyptian human rights NGOs have documented an average of 90-100 cases of enforced disappearance monthly since the beginning of 2015. Prior to this, there were isolated cases of enforced disappearances but the practice was not as routine as it is today.
Amnesty is releasing its report accompanying this video just over one year after Egypt’s Minister of Interior, a veteran of one of the most notorious security services under former President Hosni Mubarak, was appointed in March 2015. Since his appointment, the country has seen a surge in enforced disappearances and torture by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the Ministry of Interior.
Under the rule of former President Hosni Mubarak, the State Security
Investigations Service (SSIS), the NSA’s notorious predecessor, was responsible for abductions, enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment. The practices of the SSIS were one of the main triggers of the “25 January Revolution” in 2011. The SSIS was formally disbanded in the wake 2011 uprising. But it was then essentially re-established as the NSA.
In the months since Magdy Abdel Ghaffar’s appointment as Minister of Interior, hundreds of Egyptians including political activists, students, protesters, and others, including children, were subjected to enforced disappearance for days or months. They were abducted from their homes, streets or places of work by National Security agents and held in unofficial places of detention without access to their families and lawyers, and without any judicial oversight. The Ministry of Interior would deny that these individuals are in their custody or refuse to disclose their whereabouts. All the while, detainees are tortured to “confess” to offences ranging from “unauthorised” protest to carrying out attacks and killing of members of the security forces or belonging to banned or armed groups.
After detainees have been interrogated while held incommunicado and tortured into a “confession”, their case is transferred to a prosecutor’s office alongside a report compiled by the NSA that includes falsified dates and places of arrest (to make it appear that they had never been forcibly disappeared), as well as the “confession” extracted under torture. The detainees would in almost all cases be denied access to lawyers during the first questioning by the prosecutor. Amnesty International has also found that prosecutors would charge detainees based entirely on the “confessions” extracted under torture.
The report link: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde12/4331/2016/en/