Saturday, January 29, 2011

Did Mubarak Regime In Egypt Torture Its Political Opponents Historically?

One reason the U.S. government-backed Mubarak regime in Egypt lacks popular support is that, historically, it apparently has tortured political opponents of the Mubarak regime. As the Human Rights Watch World Report 1992 observed, for example, in 1993:

"Egypt remains the second largest recipient of U.S. aid worldwide, after Israel...One of the most noxious features of the system is the apparently pervasive use of torture in detention. According to the independent Egyptian Organization of Human Rights [EOHR], torture of suspected criminals in police lock-ups is routine, while convincing evidence exists in the systematic use of torture against suspected political dissidents by the State Security Intelligence [SSI] force...

"The inescapable impression gained is that President Mubarak prefers to retain the reserve powers in the state of emergency as a means of guarding against popular discontent with government policies--and protecting his own seat...In 1991, the leading women's organization in the Arab world, the Cairo-based Arab Women's Solidarity Association, was told by the government to close down...

"In bilateral aid, Egypt in fiscal 1991 received an estimated $1.3 billion in military assistance, $815 million in Economic Support Funds, $1.5 million in military training and $150 million in food from the United States. Despite well-documented abuses in Egypt that are widespread, persistent and serious in nature, including torture, the Administration apparently does not consider aid to Egypt to be barred by Section 502B of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, which prohibits security assistance to any `country the government of which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights...'

Coincidentally,a former attorney with the General Counsel of the Air Force in the Pentagon, Patton Boggs Partner Dean Dilley, is currently the "Legal Counsel to the Egyptian Ministry of Defense in handling...litigation involving military contracts," according to the website of the Washington, D.C. corporate law firm of Patton Boggs.

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