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Incident between 24 March 2014 and 25 March 2014 Download as CSV Print this page

Location: National Security offices in Second Police Station, Cairo Governorate

Country: Egypt

Violation types: Beating Rape Torture

Perpetrator classifications: Police

Location


This incident took place in National Security offices in Second Police Station, Cairo Governorate, Egypt

Description


According to Human Rights Watch: "Omar al-Shuweikh, 23, was arrested at around noon on March 24, 2014, as he walked down a sidewalk in Cairo’s Medinat Nasr neighborhood after leaving Al Azhar University, where he was a student in Islamic and Arabic studies and a well-known chant leader at protests." [snip] "The police drove al-Shuweikh to the Second Police Station in Medinat Nasr and took him upstairs to the National Security offices. There, they stripped him, ripped his undershirt in half, and blindfolded him with it. Then they handcuffed his hands behind his back. “They started beating me from everywhere,” al-Shuweikh said, “At first I wanted to be hard-headed and I wasn’t going to talk. They started beating me with the wooden sticks and started cursing my mother. And then they started saying, ‘We'll do X, Y and Z if you don't talk.’” They shocked him with an electric stun gun and put him into another room for half an hour. Afterward, they brought him into the office of the head of investigations. Inside the office, they hung al-Shuweikh from the ceiling and suspended him so that his feet did not touch the floor, dislocating his right shoulder. After confirming al-Shuweikh’s identity, the interrogators asked him whether he belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood and to give them the identities of those they claimed helped organize activism in the university and paid him to protest. Al-Shuweikh tried to give the interrogator answers that would not incriminate his friends, but it seemed as though the police did not believe him. The interrogator began to squeeze his testicles. “I started answering the questions because I was in a lot of pain,” al-Shuweikh said. “At first, I didn’t want to give them names, and then I started creating fake names and giving them to them.” The interrogator said that al-Shuweikh was not being truthful, and the men threw him into another room. They soon pulled him out and put him into an office with a different interrogator. “This was a different situation,” al-Shuweikh said. “It was as if there was personal rivalry between us.” The men in this room forced al-Shuweikh to the floor, pulled down his pants and underwear, and inserted their fingers in his anus. Then they inserted what felt like a wooden stick. “Now look at what we're doing to you,” one of the men said. “You were acting like a man outside, you were taking your shirt off and saying the Interior Ministry are thugs. Here we are and we're fucking you. We'll make you pregnant.” This initial experience lasted for about six minutes, after which the officers continued the interrogation for around three hours, al-Shuweikh said. The officers hung him in a stress position, shocked his testicles, hands, and his handcuffs with electricity, raped him with a stick, and squeezed his testicles. During the interrogation, one officer led the torture, while a different officer tried to persuade al-Shuweikh to talk. “My son, we want to help you, don’t worry, we'll get you out, just help us,” the second officer said, according to al-Shuweikh. He told al-Shuweikh he knew there were people paying them to protest. “Who is fooling you with the money? We know that you have nothing to do with it, but we know someone is paying you,” he said. When al-Shuweikh did not answer, they would torture him again. Al-Shuweikh believed that the National Security officers at this station had a special interest in him. He could hear them speaking on radios or mobile phones to other people whom he assumed to be police officers, telling them that al-Shuweikh was “theirs” and they would be “dealing with him” at the station, not transferring him. At one point, an officer asked him if he wanted anything to eat or drink or to “freshen up” before he would be filmed making a confession. He said no. A man entered the room with a video camera and turned it on. An officer asked al-Shuweikh questions, telling him to admit to being a Brotherhood member. Al-Shuweikh responded that he did not know what the officer was talking about, and the man with the camera told the officer, “It’s not going to work, pasha.” The officer told the man to proceed and that they would edit the footage later. “They would say, ‘Say that a certain person was with you, we'll ask you about this and you will answer you were at this place,’ So I said OK, [but then] they would start and I would say, ‘I don’t know,’” al-Shuweikh said. The officer attempted to film his confession two or three times before stopping. After the first day’s interrogation ended, they put al-Shuweikh in a room by himself. They would not allow him to sleep and did not give him food or let him pray or use the bathroom. At around 9:30am the following day, they took him to a prosecutor’s office in a courthouse in the Seventh District area of Madinat Nasr. Around five days later, al-Shuweikh’s mother, Hoda Abd al-Hamid Mohamed, visited him at the police station. She told Human Rights Watch that al-Shuweikh was limping badly, and the left side of his face was swollen, nearly closing his left eye. She visited again the next day, and al-Shuweikh smuggled notes to her detailing his torture.