Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Egypt: Three police officers tried for torturing young man

Egypt: Three police officers tried for torturing young man
By: Dalia Ziada

CAIRO: Cairo’s El Nadim Center for Psychological Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence called upon anti-torture human rights organizations and activists to support Shady Maged Saad Zaghloul and his wife against the three police officers who tortured him at 6 October police station. Upon a prosecutor decision, the interrogation of the officers was postponed to January 18th.

Zaghloul, Egyptian young man, married with a child, a labor and a student of Law at Cairo University, was forced to leave his house at 6 October City after he suffered humiliation, torture and continuous prosecution by the three police officers working at 6 October police station: Captain Sherif Samir, Lieutenant Hazem Beltagy, and Lieutenant Samir Shaaban.

On October 14th, 2007, the police officers Sherif and Samir, stopped Zaghloul’s car at Vodafone Square in 6 October City. They checked his identity card, driving license, and car license and then asked him to accompany them to the police station. “I refused to go with them because they did not give me a reason,” he said. “Thus, they beat me in the street in a very humiliating way, and threw me into the police vehicle!”

Shady was then taken to the prosecutor and the police officers accused him of drug trafficking! “the prosecutor asked me about the bruises on my face and I told him that the police officers tortured me,” Zaghloul added. Accordingly, the prosecutor opened a new file and ordered his assistants to write a new claim from Zaghloul against the officers. Upon this claim, he was seen by the forensic doctor on October 17th, 2007 before he was taken again to jail for 15 days on remand.

“They kept beating me for 10 days. Every night they take me from jail to the investigations sections to beat me,” Zaghloul said, “then when I lose consciousness, they send me back to jail and the other prisoners wake me up.” According to Zaghloul, the officers were torturing him to remove his claim against them and confess the crime of trafficking. At the end of the 15 days of remand, they tried to treat the signs of torture on his body. “They were worried that I might die because of torture,” Zaghloul said. “When they failed, they asked the hospital to fabricate a statement that the injuries on my body are there because I slipped in the bathroom.”

After release, Zaghloul was forced to leave his house at 6 October City out of fear. But the officers did not let him go. On March 10, s009, Zaghoul visited the prosecutor with his wife and daughter to complain about abusive messages of threatening on his mobile phone. “Since, I was released I do not move without my wife and daughter,” Zaghloul said “I am very worried about them.” Once Zaghloul came out of the prosecutor’s office, the police officers arrested him again and took his wife and daughter too. Out of fear on his daughter and wife, Zaghloul removed his claim against the officers to let them go.

“After I made a statement at the notary public to remove the claim, the officers let me, my wife, and child go,” Zaghloul said. “I took them home, and then, returned back to the prosecutor on April 5th, 2008 to tell the prosecutor that I was forced to remove the claim and asked him to continue interrogations.”

The first court hearing of the case was then held at December 7th, then postponed to December 28th to notify the Minister of Interior with the civil claim upon the demand of El Nadim Center’s lawyer. Then, the case was postponed to January 18th, 2010 to notify the state attorney and add the crime of illegal confinement to the list of other accusations filed against the three perpetrators.