Egypt authorities accused of torturing, sexually abusing teenage protesters News
Egypt authorities accused of torturing, sexually abusing teenage protesters

[JURIST] Geneva-based pan-Arab rights group Alkarama [advocacy website] claimed in an open statement [text] to the UN published Friday that Egyptian authorities have been complicit in the torture and sexual abuse of 52 teenage detainees. The rights group brought the cases of the detainees, who range in age from 15 to 18 and were charged with “demonstrating without authorisation,” “assaults on police officers,” and “affiliation to a prohibited party,” to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture [official website]. “The signs of torture are, however, obvious,” the report states, “as is their degrading physical and mental health in the appalling hygiene conditions in which they’re detained.” The detainees’ lawyers raised concerns regarding their condition at hearings in Alexandria’s Court of Misdemeanours, but the judge refused to hear their statements and extended their preventive detention. Alkarama suggested that the authorities, if they do not cease their use of torture, could face prosecution for crimes against humanity.

Egypt has faced political unrest since its revolution [JURIST backgrounder], which began more than two years ago. Throughout this unrest, the court system has issued a crackdown on protests and dissent, leading to numerous charges of human rights violations. Earlier in September an Egyptian judge ordered an investigation [JURIST report] of three lawyers after they demanded to see their client, a hunger-striking activist, in court. In August, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported [JURIST report] that Egyptian security forces killed over 1,000 demonstrators in July and August of 2013 and called for an international inquiry. An Egyptian court in June confirmed [JURIST report] the death sentence for 183 Muslim Brotherhood [party website] members who were tried en masse in April 2014 [JURIST report] where 683 were sentenced to die.