Human Rights Watch [HRW] said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi permitted "systematic" torture in detention centers, a practice likely amounting to a crime against humanity.
In a 63-page report released on Wednesday, the New York-based rights group said the Interior Ministry developed "an assembly line of serious abuse to collect information about suspected dissidents and prepare often fabricated cases against them."
The HRW report entitled, "‘We Do Unreasonable Things Here': Torture and National Security in al-Sisi's Egypt," was based on interviews with Egyptian defense lawyers, 19 ex-detainees and the family of a 20th prisoner who were tortured between 2014 and 2016. It also reviewed dozens of reports about torture by Egyptian rights groups and media outlets.
"President el-Sisi has effectively given police and National Security officers a green light to use torture whenever they please," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at HRW, adding, "Impunity for the systematic use of torture has left citizens with no hope for justice."
The report further documented how Egyptian forces, particularly officers of the Interior Ministry's National Security Agency, use torture for forced confession or punishment.
It also noted that Egyptian prosecutors typically ignore complaints of ill-treatment and sometimes threaten detainees with torture.
"Widespread and systematic torture by the security forces probably amounts to a crime against humanity," the report said.
It also urged the el-Sisi to order the creation of an independent special prosecutor empowered to inspect detention sites, investigate and prosecute abuse, and publish a record of action taken.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team