Egypt Military Tortured Protesters, Amnesty International Says

By Maram Mazen and Mariam Fam – Feb 17, 2011

The Egyptian military, which is running the country after President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, tortured protesters to intimidate them and get information about planned demonstrations, said Amnesty International.

Former detainees said they were subjected to whippings, beatings, electric shocks and threatened with rape, the rights group said in a statement on its website today. At least two protesters are still being held without charge after they were arrested while carrying leaflets in Cairo in support of the anti-government protests, Amnesty said, citing relatives and friends of the men, who are brothers.

“The Egyptian military authorities have committed publicly to creating a climate of freedom and democracy after so many years of state repression. Now they must match their words with direct and immediate action,” Malcolm Smart, Amnesty’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in the statement. “The military authorities must intervene to end torture and other abuse of detainees, which we now know to have been taking place in military custody.”

The allegations in the Amnesty statement are false, said an Egyptian official who requested anonymity and declined to say why he couldn’t be identified.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has said it will run Egypt during a transition period or until elections can take place.

To contact the reporters on this story: Maram Mazen in Cairo at mmazen@bloomberg.net; Mariam Fam in Cairo at mfam1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.

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