As Egyptians Celebrate 'Victory March,' is the Still Military Torturing Citizens?

Today thousands of Egyptians march in Tahrir Square, celebrating their triumphant ouster of Hosni Mubarak and maintaining the momentum of a country that changed its future through people power. But many have warned the elated to be cautious and wary of the military's new power, and today a report emerged that questions whether they're still engaged in torture and disappearances, even today.

Human rights groups are worried by reports of military detentions over the last three weeks, citing several 'disappeared' citizens who were held without contact with their families, reports the New York Times. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other groups each have documented cases, including one in which a prisoner was transferred to the State Security forces and tortured:

[Human Rights Watch's Heba Morayef said the cases of detention and torture did not appear to be “systematic,” but added, “It is enough to set off alarm bells and call for an investigation into abuses by the military police.”

Most victims were arrested by the military, she says, though two were detained by neighborhood watch groups and then handed over to soldiers. The interrogations accompanying abuse all revolved around victims’ suspected participation in the antigovernment protests that toppled the Mubarak government.

Hundreds of unidentified bodies have shown up at hospitals around the country, says the Front for the Defense of Egyptian Protesters, deepening the uncertainty. On Wednesday, Egypt’s Health Ministry reported that 365 had died during the uprising and that 5,500 were injured.

Upsetting development. Read more at the New York Times.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at February 18, 2011, 3:43am

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