When the El-Nadim Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence says that 13 people died in places of detention in November, including nine as a result of torture, three as a result of medical negligence and one suicide case, we should be alerted.
And we should be even more alerted when the center says that there are a total of 63 cases of extrajudicial killings, 10 cases of involuntary manslaughter, 42 cases of torture, 13 cases of collective torture, 12 cases of ill-treatment, 75 cases of medical negligence, 40 cases of forced disappearance and 14 cases of police violence outside places of detention.
This report should not pass unnoticed by the prime minister. He should request Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghafar to clarify it case by case. And Abdel Ghafar should send his aides to meet with the center for that purpose and announce the facts.
The figures are very scary. They tell us that police stations have become slaughterhouses, killing has become extrajudicial, torture has become collective and medical negligence has become a ritual. This is ripe material for the international media and local social networking sites.
The ministry should respond to this before it is leaked to preying international human rights organizations that will not hesitate to portray Egypt as one big prison. These things happen only in the banana republics. They should not happen in the Egyptian republic. This is not the Abdel Ghafar republic.
The ministry should refute these figures. And if the center is wrong, it should take legal action against it because we are talking about Egypt’s reputation here. I do not believe a center the size of El-Nadim would tamper with Egypt’s reputation unless it is affiliated with the Brotherhood.
What the center is saying is not just an inconvenience. It is an indictment that renders Abdel Ghafar’s statements about human rights mere lies.
As to the prosecutor general, it is his duty – him being the people's defender – to investigate the matter thoroughly and announce the result, even if it implicates the Interior Ministry. And if the center is wrong, he should take the correct action.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm