Egypt Islamist trial hears torture claims

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 20 Oct 2002 21:06:09 +0100

 Ian Nisbet
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/38362000/jpg/_38362425_iannesbitt300
.jpg> 
Nisbet and the other Britons said they were beaten 
 

Three British Muslims on trial in Egypt accused of trying to overthrow
the Egyptian Government have said they were beaten and tortured in
prison. 

The men, from London, appeared in court in Cairo along with 23 Egyptian
nationals, all of whom are accused of belonging to an illegal Islamist
group, the Islamic Liberation Party (Hizb ut-Tahrir). 



  <http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/startquote.gif> 


I was stripped naked, they beat me, they threatened me with sexual abuse

  <http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/endquote.gif> 


Reza Pankhurst, defendant 
Ian Nisbet, 28, from east London, Reza Pankhurst, 27, and Maajid Nawaz,
26, a student at London's School of Oriental and African Studies, face
up to 25 years in prison with hard labour if convicted. 

The case has been criticised by the human rights group Amnesty
International, which says the authorities have failed to investigate
allegations that the men have been tortured and ill-treated. 


The men were arrested in April and have been held under emergency laws
introduced after President Anwar Sadat's assassination at the hands of
Islamic militants in 1981. 


'Stripped and beaten' 


The three Britons came into court holding copies of the Koran and
shouting "Allah Akbar". 




 Reza Pankhurst
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/38362000/jpg/_38362429_pa_2pankhurst
150.jpg> 
Reza Pankhurst was working for an internet company in Egypt


Speaking through the iron grille of the dock in the crowded court, the
men told relatives and reporters that they were tortured, deprived of
sleep and only allowed to see lawyers after nearly two months in
custody. 


"I was stripped naked, they beat me, they threatened me with sexual
abuse," said Mr Pankhurst. 


"They tortured me with electricity multiple times and we were all
deprived of sleep." 


The men said they were also forced to watch other prisoners being
beaten. 



Human rights fears 


Amnesty International called the allegations of torture "deeply
worrying". 


"Our concerns have grown following the apparent intransigence of the
Egyptian authorities who are refusing to allow independent medical
examinations of the men," the organisation said. 


The UK Government said it had arranged legal representation for the men.



"We have done our best to ensure that the facilities are in place for
proper interpreting so the defendants can understand what's happening,"
said John Sawers, British ambassador to Egypt. 


"They have full access to lawyers and we have had good consular access,"
he said." 


The Islamic Liberation Party emerged in Jordan in the early 1970s and
seeks to restore the caliphate - or one Islamic government for all
Islamic states - through military coups across the region. 


It is banned in most Middle Eastern countries. 

Source: BBC online 
   <http://news.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gif>
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/999999.gif> 

18 Oct 02 | England 
 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2341049.stm> Fear for Londoners on
trial in Egypt

17 Oct 02 | England 
 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2337083.stm> Britons face trial in
Egypt

04 Oct 02 | England 
 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2298219.stm> Parents to visit
jailed son in Egypt

05 Aug 02 | World at One 
 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/world_at_one/2173317.stm>
British men charged in Egypt



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