Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sky News Uncovers Egypt Torture Claims

News and photo by Sky's Dominic Waghorn and lawyer Malek Adly 
11:18pm UK, Tuesday February 08, 2011
Dominic Waghorn, Middle East correspondent, Cairo

Human rights activists in Egypt have claimed President Hosni Mubarak's regime is conducting a hidden crackdown on the protest movement.

The Egyptian government claims it has made significant concessions following an uprising in Cairo and other cities and is engaged in political dialogue with its opponents.

But, in the offices of human rights group Hisham Mubarak, there is a very different picture after a visit from a mob of thugs and secret police.
The offices were trashed and computers ripped open to seize every hard drive and the information on them.

Human rights lawyer Malek Adly, who works at the centre, was arrested on suspicion of buying blankets for protesters on Tahrir Square.

He told Sky News he witnessed other prisoners being electrocuted, during three days of detention.

He said: "The person fell down screaming because it makes a lot of pain and they took him and put him in jail. I felt very angry. They aren't humans. They are animals."

Human rights activists fear the regime is now preparing to crush the protest and suppress human rights.

Sally Sami is spokesman for the Hisham Mubarak Rights Centre.

She said: "Without true change, we are going to go back 20 or 30 years in terms of freedoms and liberties. Human rights defenders will be as restricted as they were 20 years ago."

There were more record crowds in Tahrir Square on the latest day of action against the president's regime. There is no sign of the protests losing momentum.

Inside the square, there is an extraordinary atmosphere of openness and freedom.

But there is also the fear that beyond the barricades, the regime is biding its time.

If they falter, the fear is the government will come after them and hunt them down.

It is a stalemate still. Both sides know the stakes are too high to give ground now.

The mass protests against Mr Mubarak’s rule, involving hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, began on January 25.

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