Amnesty: Egypt security forces have abducted and tortured hundreds News
Amnesty: Egypt security forces have abducted and tortured hundreds

Hundreds of Egyptians have been abducted and tortured by Egypt’s National Security Agency during a crackdown on political activists and protesters, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported [press release] Wednesday. Authorities have denied the accusations, but individuals have been prosecuted for isolated incidents. AI estimates three to four individuals are abducted each day. The report states there have been 17 incidents of torture where individuals have been held for as long as seven months with no access to the outside world. Tactics include beating and raping these individuals, who reportedly are as young as 14 years of age, in an attempt to obtain confessions. AI called for all states to pressure Egypt to end these human rights violations and cease all transfers of arms and equipment being used to conduct these acts.

Egypt [BBC timeline] has been internationally scrutinized in recent months over its many human rights infringements and free speech violations. Of particular concern is the prosecution and imprisonment of journalists by the Egyptian government, which has garnered widespread criticism from governments and rights groups worldwide. In March Egypt Justice Minister Ahmed al-Zind was relieved of his position after he stated that he would even imprison the Prophet Mohammed in response a question regarding the imprisonment of journalists. In January non-governmental organizations issued a joint statement [JURIST report] to the Egyptian parliament giving recommendations to ensure the enforcement of constitutional and human rights. In December Egyptian lawyer Nasser Amin challenged a law [JURIST report] that allows writers to be jailed for writings that violate Egyptian “morals.” In August 2015 Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi [BBC profile] approved [JURIST report] a 54-article counter-terrorism law that has been met with significant controversy, as many believe it infringes on the freedom of the press. Many have said that the law defines terrorism too broadly and imposes harsh sentences and fines on violators. The same month Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] criticized [JURIST report] the law saying it infringes on freedom of the press.