Egypt jails police after sodomy torture video

An Egyptian court convicted two police officers Monday and sentenced them to three years in prison for torturing a bus driver, in a case that came to light after a video of the abuse was posted on the Internet.

Egypt jails police after sodomy torture video
The victim, Emad el-Kabir, 22, rejoiced in the courtroom upon hearing the verdict against his assailants — Islam Nabih, a police captain, and Reda Fathi, a noncommissioned officer.

"God is great! Thank God!" shouted el-Kabir. "I regained my right. I don't want anything more than that."

Earlier in the trial, el-Kabir tearfully recounted to Judge Samir Aboul Maati how the two officers sexually abused him and used a cell phone to film the abuse. He said they sodomized him with a stick and hit him with shoes, a whip and a gun.

In November, several Egyptian bloggers posted a video, which also later appeared on the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube, showing a man naked from the waist down being sodomized with a stick. As he screamed in pain, those around him, whose faces are not visible, ridiculed him.

The man was later identified as el-Kabir, who said the incident took place in January 2006 at a police station in Bulaq al-Dakrur, a low income neighborhood in Cairo, the Egyptian capital.

Police have said el-Kabir was detained and beaten for attempting to stop an argument between his cousin and police. At the time, he was released without any charges against him but was later jailed for three months after the judge found him guilty of resisting arrest.

El-Kabir later filed a complaint with the prosecutor general, and in late December, the two police officers were arrested. Their trial started March 3.

Though el-Kabir's trial is not the first against police officers accused of torture, it is the first in Egypt involving a video that was circulated on the Internet. Other videos of alleged police torture in Egypt have since appeared on blogs, and human rights groups and activists believe the verdict in el-Kabir's case could set a precedent.

Rights groups say torture, including sexual abuse, is routinely used in police stations and in the interrogation of prisoners, but the government denies it is systematic. In recent years, the Ministry of Interior, which supervises detention facilities, has investigated many officers on allegations of torture.

Some have been indicted, convicted and received prison sentences, but the punishments have not been harsh even in cases were the victim died because of torture. Many officers also have been pardoned before the end of their sentences.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Kasım 2007, 16:32