Egypt government under fire for failure to change rights situation

July 3, 2016 8:00 pm

Egyptian police patrol the streets in the Giza district of Cairo, January 25, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

’s National Council for
Human Rights on Sunday denounced the authorities’ failure to change the
human rights situation in the country, citing disappearances and abuse
of prisoners by the police.

“The human rights situation
in the country has not changed in spite of the adoption of the new
constitution two years ago,” the council said in an annual report,
adding that, “Human rights causes have not yet become a priority for the
state.”
The council has raised 266 cases of enforced
disappearances with the Egyptian Interior Ministry, of whom 27 cases
turned out to have been released, while 143 others are still kept in
pretrial detention.
According to the ministry, 44 of the missing
people had not been arrested, and may have disappeared for other
reasons, including joining Takfiri terrorist groups operating in the
region.
The council said the cases had been documented from April
2015 through March this year, adding that it had received 296 complaints
in 2015.
“Many of the complaints are related to abuses they are
subject to in prisons and other detention facilities, most notably
torture and other harsh and degrading treatment,” the council said.
The report noted that the use of torture “continues to be widespread,” particularly in initial detention centers.
Initial
detention centers are estimated to hold more than 300 percent of their
capacity and detainees take turns sleeping because of lack of space, it
said.
The Egyptian government has been engaged in a crackdown on
the opposition since the first democratically-elected president, Mohamed
Morsi, was ousted in a military coup led by then head of the armed
forces and current president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in July 2013.
Sisi
has been accused of leading the suppression of Morsi’s supporters.
Hundreds of the Morsi supporters have been killed in clashes with
security forces since the ouster.
Rights groups say the army’s
crackdown has led to the deaths of over 1,400 people and the arrest of
22,000 others, including some 200 people who have been sentenced to
death in mass trials

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