Sunday, October 12, 2014

Many Successes and some Challenges...

A month after the UN Day of Torture Survivors and their Families, there are many challenges facing us, the survivors, and work to do to expose the crime of torture. However, there few good news as reported by Center for Justice and Accountability.

We are also expecting a ruling very soon about the senior officers of the former Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia that their trial are going on

Trial Date Set for Case against Pinochet Officer for Torture and Death of Legendary Chilean Folksinger Víctor Jara

06/02/2014: CJA and pro bono counsel Chadbourne & Parke LLP, filed suit in September 2013 on behalf of the surviving family members of folksinger Víctor Jara against former Pinochet Officer Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nuñez. The complaint alleges that Barrientos personally tortured and executed Mr. Jara during the mass detention in the Chile Stadium. Read more here. The trial will begin in February 2015.

CJA's Statement on India's Fifteenth Prime Minister Narendra Modi

05/27/2014: On May 26, 2014, Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was sworn in as India’s fifteenth Prime Minister. Modi’s appointment as Prime Minister is not troubling solely because of his actions—or inaction—during the 2002 Gujarat riots. Instead, his appointment signals a broader problem that those linked to mass atrocities evade accountability at the highest ranks of Indian government. Read CJA's statement on Modi's appointment here.

Ex-Salvadoran General May be Deported for Human Rights Violations

04/21/2014: An immigration judge issued a final order of removal for former Salvadoran Minster of Defense Garcia because of his involvement in a number of human rights violations, including the assassination of Archbishop Romero, the murder of four American churchwomen, the El Mozote massacre, and the torture of CJA client Juan Romagoza. The decision and a portion of the administrative record recently became public due to a FOIA request by The New York Times.Click here for the press release, here to read a summary of the decision, here to read the NYT article, and here to view the portion of the administrative record currently available.

The Roots of ISIS Go Back to Muslim Brothers Movement

In the news this morning... This is the head of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt who actually not only ordered torture but also did it by his own hands... Although he, el-Baltagy,  was indicted and sentenced for a different case from those mentioned in the article of 2012 (read below) yet, it tells clearly how the system of Ghost Houses created by their 'brothers' in Sudan is deeply rooted in their ideology.
Before even they reached to power, they had already started to create their own-run detention center. The Tahrir Square Apartment should be marked/identified by human rights activists as the first Ghost House of Islamists of former President Morsi.

The brutality of DA'ISH/ISIS, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, as seen their barbaric killing of Western civilians and journalists has its deep root in the ideology of their mother islamic org of the BROTHERS!

Muslim Brotherhood figure, two other Islamists sentenced to 15 years in prison on torture charges

State MENA news agency says the court on Saturday found Mohammed el-Beltagy along with a preacher and a junior member of the group guilty of holding and beating a man in an office overlooking Tahrir Square they suspected was an undercover policeman spying on the 18-day sit-in against Mubarak.

Sunday, October 12, 2014, 12:11 AM
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From the New York Times

Evidence of Torture by Egyptian Islamists

As my colleague David Kirkpatrick reports from Cairo, “Islamist supporters of President Mohamed Morsi captured, detained and beat dozens of his political opponents last week, holding them for hours with their hands bound on the pavement outside the presidential palace while pressuring them to confess that they had accepted money to use violence in protests against him.”
Those protesters were detained and abused during street fighting last Wednesday, which began after supporters of the Islamist president from the Muslim Brotherhood attacked a sit-in by his opponents outside the palace, leading to deadly clashes. Almost as soon as the fighting ended, opposition activists began collecting visual evidence and testimony of the abuse anti-Morsi protesters suffered that night at the hands of the Brotherhood and their allies.
The Cairene blogger who writes as Zeinobia gathered more than a dozen images of badly wounded protesters that were posted online shortly after the detainees were turned over by their Islamist captors to the authorities (who later released them without charge).
Among the injured detainees was Yehia Negm, Egypt’s former ambassador to Venezuela, who spoke to The Times about his ordeal.
Zeinobia also pointed to a widely circulated video clip of Mr. Negm describing his captivity, in which he said that even doctors from the Muslim Brotherhood mistreated the detainees.
Video of Yahia Negm, a former diplomat, describing his abuse during captivity by Islamists in Cairo last week.
Days later, when Mr. Negm appeared on Egyptian television to discuss the torture, his face was still badly scarred.
A sense of the religious and sectarian fervor that drove some of the president’s supporters during Wednesday’s clashes can be glimpsed in a video shot mainly behind Islamist lines by an opposition activist named Abdo Zineldin.
A video report on street fighting outside the presidential palace in Cairo on Wednesday, shot by Abdo Zineldin, an activist filmmaker.
Mr. Zineldin, 20, told The Lede in an e-mail that he is from Shubra, a working-class Cairo neighborhood, and recently learned to edit video at a workshop hosted by Mosireen, a collective of revolutionary filmmakers.
Explaining why he chose to record behind Islamist lines that night, the young activist wrote: “I found myself in the gap where the two sides were advancing and decided it would be an interesting perspective to get also the opinion of the Muslim Brotherhood members, since I am more familiar with the ‘revolutionaries/seculars.’”
In a still frame from his video, Mr. Zineldin said Islamists could be seen hauling off a captive protester under the watch of a member of the police force.
Last weekend, the independent Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm published one reporter’s harrowing account of what he witnessed during three hours “in a Muslim Brotherhood torture chamber at the presidential palace” on Wednesday night.
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood have since argued that any torture that took place on their side of the front lines last Wednesday was not directed by officials. But the reporter for Al-Masry Al-Youm, Mohamed El-Garhi, wrote that uniformed and plainclothes police officers were present as the torture was carried out by more than a dozen members of the Muslim Brotherhood, “supervised by three bearded men who decided who should be there.” He added:
Opposing protesters were brought to the chambers after being detained by Brotherhood members, who beat them and tore their clothes. The chambers were informal and it was unclear how many there were; when someone was detained, a chamber would be established anywhere near a building.
The kidnappers would take the detained person’s ID card, mobile phone and money before beginning “investigations,” which included intervals of beating to force the confession that he or she is a “thug.”
The interrogators would then ask their captive why they had taken to the street, if they had received any money for protesting, and if they belonged to Mohamed ElBaradei’s Constitution Party, Hamdeen Sabbahi’s Popular Current or the dissolved National Democratic Party of Hosni Mubarak.
If the detainee denied affiliation, the torturers would intensify beatings and verbal abuse. They also documented the interrogations on a mobile phone camera.
Watan, an Egyptian news site, published visual evidence of that torture by Muslim Brothers in the form of graphic video recorded during the interrogations of detainees. Taken together, two of the Watan video clips, which show bleeding and battered protestersbeing pressed to say that they were paid to oppose the president, have been viewed more than a million times in the past week.
Video of battered protesters being interrogated by Islamists in Cairo last week.
Video of Islamists interrogating a captive last week in Cairo, from Watan, an Egyptian news site.
After Mr. Morsi claimed in a speech last week that some of those detained had confessed to being armed and paid by the opposition to make trouble, Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch noted on Twitter that it was remarkable to hear a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose members were routinely tortured into making false confessions by the security forces before the revolution, present such confessions as credible evidence.
One of the Muslim Brothers who took part in the beating of detainees admitted his role in an interview with Nancy Youssef, a Cairo correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers:
Adel Amer, 44, said he was one of those who beat protesters at a fierce and ultimately deadly standoff Wednesday in front of Egypt’s presidential palace between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi.
Amer said he had to do it. Morsi’s opponents were taking drugs that numb them to pain, he said. The police could not handle the melee on their own, so he and fellow members of the Muslim Brotherhood grabbed them, beat them and handed them over to officers.
“We had to beat them so they would confess,” he said, listing their crimes: starting the fighting, bribing others to cause trouble or working to undo the democratic election that Morsi won five months ago. “We had no other option. We protected the police.”
Another attack by Islamists on a high-profile political opponent was reported two nights after the clashes at the palace. On Friday, a former member of Egypt’s Parliament, Mohamed Abu Hamed, was badly beaten by Muslim Brothers as he tried to drive past a rally of Morsi supporters in Cairo.
Mr. Hamed later denied accusations by the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party that he was beaten only after he tried to run over members of the group.
While members of the Muslim Brotherhood were among those killed during last week’s clashes, opposition activists still blamed the Islamists for initiating the conflict by calling on their activists to confront protesters who had gathered outside the palace first.
As Hesham Sallam, one of the editors of Jadaliyya, argued, “regardless of how much violence each ‘side’ has committed,” last week’s fighting was “instigated by a deliberate, conscious decision by Muslim Brotherhood leaders to escalate the conflict with its adversaries.” He continued:
One day after thousands of opposition protesters had marched to the presidential palace and staged a sit-in in order to pressure Morsi into reversing his controversial constitutional declaration, the Muslim Brotherhood called on its supporters to march to the palace.
Organizing a march to the same site where Morsi’s opponents are gathered is a tall order, and an inevitable recipe for physical clashes. You do not rally your activists at the same site where your opponents are assembled, expecting a peaceful tailgating picnic.
Early Tuesday, one of the protesters who was detained, beaten and sexually harassed by the Islamists, Ola Shahba, reported on Twitterthat she was still recovering from her injuries.