Responding to the news that Aser Mohamed and Karim Hemada, who were both forcibly disappeared and tortured to “confess” while aged 14 and 17 respectively, have been sentenced to 10 years in prison, Amnesty International’s North Africa campaigns director Najia Bounaim said:
“Today’s disgraceful verdict after a grossly unfair trial demonstrates the Egyptian authorities’ utter disregard for children’s rights. Both Karim Hemada and Aser Mohamed were forcibly disappeared, endured agonizing ordeals in detention and have been victims of outrageous injustice.
“Their inhumane detention violates international law and the Egyptian constitution and should be a stain on the conscience of the authorities. Instead of compounding the injustice they have already meted on two young men by jailing them for years, the Egyptian authorities must quash their convictions, immediately release them and launch investigations into their enforced disappearance and torture allegations.”
Any retrial the two young men face should be fair and must adhere to the principles of juvenile justice.
Under international law children deprived of their liberty must be treated humanely and held separately from adults.
The Cairo Criminal Court issued its verdict on the case today, convicting 6 defendants to death penalty, 8 to life imprisonment and 12 to 10 years.
Karim Hemada was arrested aged 17 during a raid on his home in Giza in January 2016. He was forcibly disappeared for 42 days, and during this time, he reported being tortured with electric shocks to extract a forced confession.
Aser Mohamed was forcibly disappeared for 35 days in January 2016 at the age of 14. He was unlawfully detained alongside adults and tortured with electric shocks and by being suspended by his limbs for hours in order to extract a forced confession to offences he says he did not commit including “membership of a terrorist group” and attacking a hotel. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison despite undergoing a grossly unfair trial.
Aser Mohamed was prosecuted detained and sentenced along with adults.
For more information please see:
Egypt: Children face shocking violations including torture and enforced disappearance
The Egyptian government must take steps to protect children and ensure accountability for violator
Egypt must not sentence to death a young man forcibly disappeared and tortured at 17