Egypt security forces 'disappeared' and tortured US man, rights group says
Egypt Egypt security forces 'disappeared' and tortured US man, rights group says
Khaled Hassan, a 41-year-old limo driver from New York with joint US and Egyptian citizenship, was held for four months
A limousine driver from New York was forcibly disappeared for four months, tortured and sexually assaulted b y Egyptian security forces, according to Human Rights Watch.
Khaled Hassan, 41, who holds joint US and Egyptian citizenship, was arrested and held incommunicado for months by Egyptian security forces after traveling to the port city of Alexandria in January to visit his wife and children.
He told Human Rights Watch that officers from Egyptâs national security agency âseverely beat him, gave him electric shocks, including on his genitalsâ. He was also raped at least twice, HRW said.
The report comes less than a week after the US first lady, Melania Trump, met Egyptâs president in Cairo and â" according to a statement from Abdel Fatah al-Sisiâs office â" âexpressed her keenness to work on strengthening cooperation between the two countries,â.Hundreds 'disappeared' by security forces in Egypt, says Amnesty Read more
Hundreds of Egyptian citizens have been forcibly disappeared since Sisi swept to power following a mil itary coup in 2013, and human rights groups have reported a fresh spike in disappearances conducted by the national security agency since early 2015.
Hassanâs account provides a gruesome and detailed picture of torture at the hands of the NSA, during a four-month period in which he had no legal support or contact with his family.
Agents âhung him from his arms for days, dislocating both his shoulders. They repeatedly gave him electric shocks to the head, tongue, the anus, the testicles, and his groin area,â according to the report.
Human Rights Watch said that independent forensic experts verified that photographs of Hassanâs wounds show lesions consistent with torture from electric shock devices.
The group alleged that agents later operated on Hassanâs injuries without anaesthesia, then waited for his visible wounds to heal before he was presented to Egyptâs military prosecution in May.
Authorities then added his name to a list of hund reds accused of allegiance to Isis, a charge he denies.
Human Rights Watch added that NSA officers raided the Hassan family home in Alexandria shortly after his arrest. They demanded his wife, Liuba Skateeff, who is Peruvian, leave the country along with their three Egyptian-American children.
Skateeff was later prevented from entering Egypt and deported back to the US along with their four-year-old child.
Egyptâs state information service acknowledged Hassanâs detention, but denied that he was forcibly disappeared or tortured in a written response to Human Rights Watch.
Asked about the case, an official from Egyptâs ministry of foreign affairs said that âcurrently, the ministry of foreign affairs is diligently examining this issue in order to respond as soon as possibleâ.
There was no immediate comment from the US Department of State.
In July, the US released $195m in military aid to Egypt, which had previously been withheld due t o human rights concerns.
In a leaked memo, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, demanded the release of the aid, despite stating that âthe overall human rights climate in Egypt continues to deteriorateâ.
The memo also described âa continuing problem,â of arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances âand numerous allegations of torture and deaths in detentionâ.Topics
- Middle East and North Africa
- Abdel Fatah al-Sisi
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