Documento - Egypt: Testimony of an Egyptian torture victim
AI index: MDE 12/019/2011
16 February 2011
Testimony of an Egyptian torture victim
An 18-year-old secondary school student from Cairo told Amnesty International that he was tortured after he was arrested at about 1500hrs on 3 February 2011 by soldiers near Tahrir Square:
“I was walking with a friend towards the square when soldiers stopped us and asked for our IDs. They seemed to be suspicious of my friend, because he holds a UK residence permit. They took us to the area museum which is controlled by the army and held us there in an outdoor area. After some while we were blindfolded and handcuffed and I could not see what happened to my friend. I could only hear him screaming and believe he was severely beaten. I was only slapped in the face but not severely beaten while held at the museum.
“That night we were transferred to another location about 30 minutes away from Tahrir Square. When we got out we had to lie down on the floor and were beaten. Then I was taken for interrogation where they insulted me and my family. They said things one should not say. They took off my handcuffs, because they ordered me to take off my clothes, except my underwear, but I remained blindfolded. Then they handcuffed me again and tied my legs. They put a chain or rope to my legs and lifted me up, so that my head was hanging down. From time to time they would let me down into a barrel that was filled with water. They told me to confess that I was trained by Israel or by Iran. They also put electric shocks to my body and I fainted. This continued for several hours. After the torture finished I was so exhausted that I slept for hours.
“The next day I was taken in a group of about 30 people to another location, which - as I learned later - was Sign al-Harbi [a military prison at El Heiksteb, northeast of Cairo]. When we got out of the vehicle our blindfolds were taken off and soldiers started beating us with whips and truncheons. There are still scars on my back from the beatings. We were led to our cells where I soon fell asleep. They kept beating us, including when we went to the bathroom. The last days of my detention I refused to eat to protest against the treatment. Finally we were released. They left us on the road to Cairo and told us to walk back.”
He was released with hundreds of other detainees from the military prison on 10 February 2011. Amnesty International delegates interviewed him several days later when scars were still visible on his back.