First Published: 2006-05-26

Egypt Kefaya accuses police of sexual abuse

Pro-reform movement accuses security forces of torturing, sexually abusing two of its activists.


Middle East Online

Strong allegations

CAIRO - The Egyptian pro-reform Kefaya (Enough) movement accused police Friday of torture and sodomy with a foreign object after two activists were arrested following a rally in Cairo in support of reformist judges.

The group, which has led street protests in recent months to press for accelerated political reforms in the country, said security forces arrested Mohammed al-Sharqawy and Karim al-Shaer late Thursday.

Security forces also roughed up three female journalists, but allowed them to go, the movement said.

They had participated in a rally Thursday in support of reformist judges and to mark the first anniversary of a referendum day tarnished by violence against opposition activists.

Security forces "abducted" Sharqawy and Shaer off a street near the site of the rally and "brutally beat them up", Kefaya said in a statement, citing lawyers representing the two men.

It said that they were then taken "blindfolded" in a minibus to a location they believed was Qasr al-Nil police station, where "they were exposed to further torture."

Police particularly singled out Sharqawy for abuse, Kefaya said.

"State security officers sodomised Mohammed al-Sharqawy, a young activist, using rolled carton paper for nearly 15 minutes," the movement alleged.

"They tore off his underwear and threatened him with rape," it charged.

The allegations could not be immediately verified independently.

Police reportedly held the two men at the station for several hours before referring them to the state security prosecution in Heliopolis, northeast of Cairo, according to Kefaya.

"I could see that he (Sharqawy) was tortured brutally," Gamal Eid, one of the lawyers present during interrogation of the two men, said. "His eyes were swollen and there were shoe marks on his neck and chest," Eid added.

Sharqawy and Shaer explained what happened to them to the prosecution and demanded that a doctor examine them, Kefaya said.

The prosecution decided to remand them in custody for 15 days after charging them with violating state of emergency laws which prohibit demonstrations, the lawyer said.


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