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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 10:58 AM
Original message
Video of bus driver abused in Egyptian jail puts face on torture
Los Angeles Times

CAIRO, Egypt - The bus driver's face is twisted in agony, staring up from a white tile floor within a ring of shoes. His screams are high-pitched and panicked. He has been stripped from the waist down; men believed to be Egyptian police officers hold his legs aloft and taunt him with a rod the size of a broomstick.


The torture scandal has erupted while many Egyptians believe the United States, spooked by the rise of Islamists and distracted by the war in Iraq, has abandoned its push for democratic reform in the region.

"Torture is pervasive in detention centers in Egypt. It's completely commonplace, even for petty crimes, for detainees to be tortured," said Elijah Zarwan, a Cairo-based representative of Human Rights Watch, who has closely monitored the bus driver's travails. "In this case it seems like it was just simple cruelty. They wanted to teach him a lesson."

The man in the video, first tracked down by an Egyptian newspaper reporter, was Imad Kabir, a 21-year-old minibus driver from a scruffy neighborhood a few miles from downtown Cairo. Kabir was arrested in January 2006 after a fight broke out between police and neighborhood residents. Before he was allowed to walk out of the police station after being released on bail, Kabir was systematically beaten and raped.

Afterward, police broadcast the video by Bluetooth throughout his neighborhood in what Zarwan said was a warning to other drivers. After hearing about the rape from the neighbors, his father died of a stroke, Kabir's lawyer said.


Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice passed through Cairo last week without a word of public criticism for the regime.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 11:25 AM
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1. And not a word from the U.S. Secretary of State
Well, we can't expect to be the world's policeman now, can we? After all, if a country is torturing its own citizens, it's really none of our concern unless they have huge oil reserves, right Dr. Rice?
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ohio2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 11:34 AM
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2. Egypt won't risk losing the "foriegn aid" we give them
for keeping the peace on their side of the peace deal
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 12:09 PM
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3. Wasn't Egypt one of the places
that US prisoners were being "rendered" for torture? I guess "try to look surprised" is too much work for Condi.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 12:14 PM
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4. Silence kills you fucking Beaver! Whistle through those teeth with dead air.
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Miss Chybil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-21-07 12:51 PM
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5. So, I'm sure the crime rate in Cairo is nill and the acts of terrorism zilch, right?
I mean, if torture is such an effective weapon that should be the case. /sarcasm
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Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-22-07 08:16 AM
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6. Kick.
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-22-07 08:17 AM
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7. Torture video stirs fury over Egypt penal system (US Ally)
Torture video stirs fury over Egypt penal system
New questions raised about human rights record of U.S. ally

Monday, January 22, 2007

01-22) 04:00 PST Cairo -- The man in the video lies on the floor on his back, naked from the waist down, with his feet hoisted into the air, surrounded by pairs of anonymous black boots.

The camera captures an act of brutality before zooming in until the man's face, scrunched with agony, fills the frame. He cries out for mercy from his tormentors, but within seconds the words give way to screams of desperation. The abuse continues, and the camera holds steady.

The rare footage, shot on a cell phone camera inside a Cairo police station in January 2006, is the most striking evidence to date of what Egyptian and international human rights organizations have long called an epidemic of torture in the country's penal system.

The video, which appeared on YouTube in November and quickly made the rounds of the local blogosphere, has sparked outrage in recent weeks, casting a harsh light on the deteriorating human rights situation in one of the United States' closest allies in the Arab world.

The United States gives Egypt around $2 billion annually in military and development aid, and the Bush administration has come to see it as a crucial Sunni Arab ally in its escalating conflict with Iran. In recent years, Egypt has also emerged as a prime destination for "extraordinary rendition" -- the controversial U.S. policy of kidnapping suspected terrorists and secretly sending them to be imprisoned and interrogated in countries that are known to practice torture.

<snip> Egyptian bloggers have also taken up the cause and, in recent months, have published several videos showing the abuse of prisoners. The most recent shows a young woman suspended by her hands and knees from a pole between two chairs, confessing to murder and screaming that her hands are about to break off. The woman's identity remains a mystery, but the Interior Ministry says it is investigating the matter.

Sodomy Video Shows Police Brutality In Egypt
No TV Stations Have Shown Footage

CAIRO, Egypt -- The footage is shocking: A man lies screaming on the floor of a police station as officers sodomize him with a wooden pole.

Compounding the shock, it turns out that it was the police who made the film, and that they then transmitted it to the cell phones of the victim's friends in order to humiliate him.

For Egypt, the ordeal of 21-year-old Emad el-Kabir has been something of a Rodney King moment -- a sudden, stark glimpse of a reality which authorities routinely deny, but which human rights groups say is part of a pattern of police brutality.

But unlike the tape of the Los Angeles police beating up King in 1991, which was aired almost immediately, the attack on el-Kabir happened a year ago, and has only became public months later after an Egyptian blogger posted it on his site and it reached YouTube.

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onager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-22-07 11:26 AM
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8. Book recommendation, travel advisory
For a good fictional account of life in today's Egypt, including police brutality and corruption, get ahold of the novel The Yacoubian Building by Alaa al-Aswany. I've lived/worked in Egypt for nearly 2 years now, mostly in Alexandria with some time in Cairo.

As the novel begins, one of the main characters is trying to fulfill a lifelong dream of joining the Cairo police. He ends as a red-hot Islamic militant eager to assassinate policemen. Mostly due to treatment after an arrest which is eerily just like the treatment in that article.

Another character is a poor police conscript from Upper Egypt who gets into a relationship with a gay journalist. (Lots of Egyptians wanted the book banned just for the homosexual angle. But the top-to-bottom corruption of everyone from the police to the religious authorities in the novel REALLY upset people.)

This story of the minivan driver is actually getting reported in the Egyptian English-language papers, though fairly...cough...briefly. Government officials must be fervently praying for another Danish-cartoon "insult to Allah" story to drive this one out of the news cycle. The "war on the veil" story had pretty good legs and is still ongoing, but most people correctly see that as a way for the government to bash the Muslim Brotherhood. And a long-overdue bashing it is, in the humble opinion of this uppity foreign atheist.

Travel Advisory: when visiting any public place in Egypt, if a policeman holds out his hand to you, he's not expecting a handshake. If you don't get the point, he may start chanting "Money! Money! Money!" That happened to me just recently at the Shallalat Gardens in Alexandria. (A beautiful public park with the last remnants of the ancient defensive walls around the city.)

At the Giza Pyramids, beware of the "unofficial" tour guide who offers to take you inside the Great Pyramid for a very special tour. When you come outside, his relative the Tourist Policeman will probably be waiting. And you have just broken the law on your little unofficial tour! Isn't that convenient?

(There's not much to see inside the pyramids, anyway. In some of DU's woo-woo groups, lots of people claim they have Projected Their Ethereal Selves inside the Pyramids, so just ask them what they saw. Much cheaper and safer.)
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-22-07 11:55 AM
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9. Can we now have the children sodomized videos released?
The Department of Defense has been sitting on these videos, first described by Seymour Hersh, since they were discovered:

Seymour Hersh says the US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

"The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking," the reporter told an ACLU convention last week. Hersh says there was "a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher."

Daily Kos

In the same period, reporter Seymour Hersh, who helped uncover the scandal, said in a speech before an ACLU convention: Some of the worse that happened that you dont know about, ok? Videos, there are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications out to their men . The women were passing messages saying Please come and kill me, because of whats happened.

Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror its going to come out.


More evidence of torture
According to Donald Rumsfeld, many more pictures and videotapes of the abuse at Abu Ghraib exist. Photos and videos revealed by the Pentagon to lawmakers in a private viewing on the 12th of May, 2004, showed attack dogs snarling at cowering prisoners, Iraqi women forced to expose their breasts, and naked prisoners forced to have sex with each other, the lawmakers revealed.<5> Members of the Senate reviewed photographs supplied by the Defense Department which have not been released to the public. They note that in addition to the abuses mentioned, some of the U.S. military guards had sex in front of the prisoners.

Hersh has made other claims about the abuses at Abu Ghraib. At the July 2004 conference of the ACLU, he stated that there are tapes of American soldiers sodomizing Iraqi boys, and that these tapes are being held by the Bush administration: "The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling, and the worst part is the soundtrack, of the boys shrieking," Notably, Hersh would revise this claim in his book Chain of Command, stating, "An attorney involved in the case told me in July 2004 that one of the witness statements he had read described the rape of a boy by a foreign contract employee who served as an interpreter at Abu Ghraib, Hersh wrote. In the statement, which had not been made public, the lawyer told me, a prisoner stated that he was a witness to the rape, and that a woman was taking pictures."<6>

*Urinating on detainees
*Jumping on detainee's leg (a limb already wounded by gunfire) with such force that it could not thereafter heal properly
*Continuing by pounding detainee's wounded leg with collapsible metal baton
*Pouring phosphoric acid on detainees
*Sodomization of detainees with a baton
*Tying ropes to the innocent detainees' legs or penises and dragging them across the floor.

Sergeant Samuel Provance from Alpha Company 302nd Military Intelligence battalion, in interviews with several news agencies, reported the sexual abuse of a 16-year-old girl by two interrogators, as well as a 16-year-old son of an Iraqi general, who was driven through the cold night air on the open back of a truck after he had been showered and besmeared with mud in order to get his father to talk.<8> He also pointed out several techniques used by interrogators that have been identified as being in violation of the Geneva Convention. He spoke to the media, even against direct orders, about what he knew about at the prison (largely from conversations and interactions with the interrogators). He explained that he did so because there was "definitely a cover-up" underway by the Army. He was administratively flagged and had his top secret clearance suspended in retaliation by the Army. A detailed statement by Sergeant Provance concerning these and numerous other abuses at Abu Ghraib and his treatment by the army is available.<9>

In her video diary, a prison guard said that prisoners were shot for minor misbehavior, and claimed to have had venomous snakes bite prisoners, sometimes resulting in their deaths. By her own admission, that guard was "in trouble" for having thrown rocks at the detainees.<10> Hashem Muhsen, one of the naked men in the human pyramid photo, said they were also made to crawl around the floor naked and that U.S. soldiers rode them like donkeys. After being released in January 2004, Muhsen became an Iraqi police officer.

It was discovered that one prisoner, Manadel al-Jamadi, died as a result of abuse, a death that was ruled a homicide by the military. One detainee has also made charges of rape under supervision of the soldiers


A court has ordered the release but the DoD has not complied. Another reason the Bushistas want federal judges replaced...

And yet, we are told by CorpMedia that some Americans want "bipartisanship."
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