01 April, 2014

Egypt Imprisons Muslim Brotherhood Members, Sentences 500 to DIe | New Republic

Egypt Imprisons Muslim Brotherhood Members, Sentences 500 to DIe | New Republic:

Horrendous conditions in police custody are not new in Egypt. Police
brutality and the death in detention of activist Khalid Saeed in June
2010 helped fuel the 2011 uprisings against Hosni Mubarak. Reports of
beatings and torture are common.Under repressive governments across the
region, such incidents are commonplace. There is an Arabic literary
genre called “prison literature” written by artists and dissidents about
their time in detention. It is as rich and varied as the region itself.
There are Yemeni versions, and Egyptian, Syrian and Libyan, dating back
to colonial times.These days, conditions in Egypt are particularly bad.
Detainees report an attitude of retribution for the humiliation and
defeat the police felt after they were chased off the streets in January
of 2011. “You have state institutions that have decided to take up the
idea of final revenge,” said Emad Mubarak, Executive Director of the
Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression.Students, journalists,
former government ministers, doctors, professors, shopkeepers—all are
represented inside Egypt’s prisons and police stations. Some of the
detainees are under 18. Rights groups report that over 300 children have
been detained in the past seven months. In some cases, police have been
known to detain family members to pressure people to turn themselves
in. “This is a normal thing…to take the father to get to the son”
Mubarak said.