Assault on HR Defenders while Attending the Hearing of a Torture Case
Assault on HR Defenders while Attending the Hearing of a Torture Case
Tuesday, May 6,2008 13:54
By Nadine Abdullah

Human Rights activists denouncing torture in Egypt were attacked by anonymous men on April 30 during their waiting to attend an appeal hearing against the pre-trial detention of three torture victims who were tortured at Kafr Al-Dawwar police station.

Dr. Magda Adly, Director of Nadeem Center for Psychological Management and Rehabilitation of victims of torture, was assaulted and transported to the hospital in a bad condition after the assailant pushed her on the floor and stole her handbag in Kafr Al-Dawwar court building, causing her fractures to the shoulder, a cut to her left eye-brow, and bruises on her left leg, according to medical reports.

Dr. Mona Hamed of Al-Nadeem Center who joined “Dr. Magda” to attend the appeal hearing along with other human rights lawyers faced another kind of harassment as she found her car in front of the court building crashed and its tires torn.

The General prosecution investigated Magda’s assailant who was apprehended by the public in the court building. The assailant admitted he assaulted Dr. Magda and stole her bag according to orders by a chief officer in Kafr Al-Dawwar police station.

Notworthy, the assault on both human rights defenders came few hours after Nadim Center issued a statement calling for the investigation into the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of members of the Sobhi Mohammed Hussein family, whose hearing session was held, following a visit to the family by a delegation from the Nadim Center and the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre.

The torture case a father and his two sons who were accused of resisting the authorities and were dragged to Kafr Al-Dawwar police station where they were tortured by two police officers. The sixty-seven year-old father, Sobhi Mohammed Hussein, was burnt with cigarettes on his chest and thighs, while his sons had bruises all over their bodies and one of them suffered from broken bones out of torture.

22 Human Rights organizations published a joint statement in solidarity with Al-Nadeem representatives who were abused. The statement condemned such act, refusing to consider it an individual act, but rather an act expressing the Egyptian authorities attitude towards human rights organizations denouncing torture, as the authorities can no more accept them.

“Journalist and human rights organizations and lawyers who defend torture victims or seek to expose abuses have in the past been harassed by the authorities, including through judicial proceedings against them.” Amnesty International said on Friday, urging the Egyptian authorities to investigate the assault on Magda Adly and the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of the members of the Sobhi Mohammed Hussein family.

Adding in its statement, “By allowing such abuses to go unpunished, the Egyptian authorities would in effect be giving the security forces a licence to torture and to do so with total impunity.”