CAIRO: In yet another case of alleged torture and police brutality, imprisoned blogger Kareem Amer claims in a letter he wrote to his lawyers to have been severely beaten and tortured by an inmate and a guard in Borg Al-Arab prison outside Alexandria.
His lawyers from the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRInfo) argue that Amer was beaten and then transferred to solitary confinement where he was placed in shackles and again assaulted. One of his teeth was broken, they said.
The organization reiterated in a press release that the incident was ordered and supervised by a prison investigation officer.
“Kareem was beaten badly and tortured for two days [starting] Oct. 24. He was prevented by prison officers from sending out letters to tell anyone about what happened. Only when he sent a letter to us through one of his inmates did we find out, Amer’s lawyer Gamal Eid, from HRInfo, told Daily News Egypt.
Furthermore, Eid stressed that Amer was prohibited from undergoing a medical examination.
The alleged maltreatment was reportedly a result of the blogger uncovering a scandal in the prison involving money, Eid continued.
According to HRInfo, the battery took place inside ward Number 22 in front of a prison investigation officer and later continued in the solitary cell where Amer was handcuffed.
“If you tell, we will do this to you again, the perpetrators allegedly warned Amer after the beatings, Eid added.
Representatives from HRInfo and the Hisham Mubarak Law Center are demanding an immediate investigation into the case, which they refer to as a breach of international treaties. Egypt is a signatory of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the United Nations Anti-Torture Treaty.
The organizations are asking to have Amer transferred to a safer prison facility “where his rights as a prisoner might be respected.
Amer was sentenced to four years in prison in February this year for defaming President Hosni Mubarak and Islam on his Internet blog. The case marks the first time Egypt refers a blogger to prison. His imprisonment has sparked outrage among international rights groups and has attracted much unwanted attention to the Egyptian government.
On Friday, activists staged demonstrations outside Egyptian embassies in several cities around the world to mark the passage of one year since Amer’s detainment.