January 31, 2011

"Work on Him Until He Confesses"

Impunity for Torture in Egypt

Summary
Methodology
Key Recommendations
To the Government of Egypt
To the Office of the Public Prosecutor
To the Ministry of Interior
I. Background: Egypt's Torture Epidemic
Systematic Torture
Criminal Investigations Practice
Torture and Enforced Disappearance by State Security Investigations (SSI)
Egypt's Obligations Under International Law..
II. The Egyptian Government's Response to Torture Allegations
Internal Disciplinary Measures of Interior Ministry
The National Council for Human Rights Ombudsman (NCHR)
III. The Role of the Niyaba
Access to Places of Detention
Lack of Independence
IV. The Impunity Gap
Most Torture Cases Never Reach Court
International Legal Standards on Investigation of Torture Allegations
V. Why Most Torture Cases Never Reach Court
Inadequate Legal Framework
Absolute Prosecutorial Discretion to Close Investigations
Intimidation of Victims and Witnesses
Delays and Poor Quality of Forensic Medical Examination
Conflict of Interest: Relying on Police for Evidence
Delays in Investigations
Failure to Conduct an Impartial Investigation
Impunity for State Security Investigations Officers
VI. State Security Court Reliance on Confessions Obtained under Torture
The 2006 Taba Trial
The Victorious Sect Case
The Zeitoun Case
VII. Lenient Sentencing and Failure to Discipline
VIII. Conclusion: Impunity and Denial of Effective Remedy
IX. Recommendations
To the Government of Egypt
To the Office of the Public Prosecutor
To the Ministry of Interior
To the Egyptian Parliament
To European Union Member States and the United States
Acknowledgments
Appendix
HRW Letter to Ministry of Interior [Original in Arabic]
HRW Letter to Public Prosecutor [Original in Arabic]