Hostage-Taking and Intimidation By Security Forces

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Since 1992, Egypt has faced continuing political violence and a corresponding rise in human rights abuses committed by both government security forces and armed Islamist militants. This report examines one particularly reprehensible security force practice: the detention and intimidation of family members — including women, children and the elderly — in order to pressure fugitive relatives to surrender to authorities, frighten families into silence about human rights abuses, and discourage them from pursuing complaints or speaking to journalists and human rights investigators.