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Killings, Detentions and Torture in Egypt

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Killings, Detentions and Torture in Egypt - by Stephen Lendman

On February 9, London Guardian writer Chris McGreal headlined, "Egypt's army 'involved in detentions and torture,' " saying:

Military forces "secretly detained hundreds and possibly thousands of suspected government opponents since mass (anti-Mubarak) protests began, (and) at least some of these detainees have been tortured, according to testimony gathered by the Guardian."

Moreover, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and other human rights organizations cited years of army involvement in disappearances and torture. Former detainees confirmed "extensive beatings and other abuses at the hands of the military in what appears to be an organized campaign of intimidation." Electric shocks, Taser guns, threatened rapes, beatings, disappearances, and killings left families grieving for loved ones.

Under Mubarak, Egypt's military wasn't neutral. It's no different now, cracking down hard to keep power and deny change, policies Washington endorses, funds and practices at home and abroad.

On February 17, even New York Times writer Liam Stack headlined, "Among Egypt's Missing, Tales of Torture and Prison," saying:

Trademark Mubarak practices continue under military rule, "human rights groups say(ing) the military's continuing role in such abuses raises new questions about its ability to midwife Egyptian democracy."

"We joined the protests to liberate the country and end the problems of the regime," said a man identified as Rabie. "After 18 days, the regime is gone but the same injustices remain." Indeed so without letup.

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In fact, on February 11, everything in Egypt changed but stayed the same. Mubarak was out, replaced by military despots, reigning the same terror on Egyptians he did for nearly three decades. A new Amnesty International (AI) report explains, titled "Egypt Rises: Killings, Detentions and Torture in the '25 January Revolution.' "

Covering the period January 30 - March 3, it documents excessive force, killing hundreds and injuring thousands of Egyptians, as well as mass arrests, detentions and torture, policies still ongoing to prevent democracy from emerging.

On May 18, an AI press release headlined, "Egypt: Victims of Protest Violence Deserve Justice," calling trying former Interior Minister Habib El Adly "an essential first step, (but authorities) must go much further than this."

"Families of those who were killed, as well as all those who were seriously injured or subject to arbitrary detention or torture....should expect that the authorities will prioritize their needs."

AI's report provides "damning evidence of excessive force" against protesters posing no threat. In addition, it covers brutal torture in detention, "including beatings with sticks or whips, electric shocks," painful stress positions for long periods, verbal abuse, threatened rape, and other forms of ill-treatment.

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Earlier in May, AI released another report titled, "State of Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa: January to Mid-April 2011," covering all regional countries, including Egypt, saying ongoing human rights abuses continue.

Strikes, sit-ins, and protests persist for decent jobs, better wages, improved working conditions, human and civil rights, ending corruption, and real democratic change so far denied. More killings, arrests, detentions, and torture followed, showing that "Egypt's '25 January Revolution' is far from over." In fact, it's just begun.

AI's report documents dozens of individuals Egypt's security forces killed or injured in Cairo, Alexandria, Beni Suef governorate, Suez, Port Said, and El-Mahalla El-Kubra, Egypt's industrial heartland. 

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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