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Egypt: Rights body highlights violations and torture

Egyptian politics

Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights on Sunday denounced the government’s failure to change the human rights situation in the country, citing disappearances and abuse of prisoners by the police.

The council has raised 266 cases of enforced disappearances with the Egyptian Interior Ministry, of whom 27 cases turned out to have been released, while 143 others are still kept in pretrial detention, Press TV reports.
The council said the cases had been documented from April 2015 through March this year, adding that it had received 296 complaints in 2015.

“The human rights situation in the country has not changed in spite of the adoption of the new constitution two years ago,” the council said in an annual report, adding that, “Human rights causes have not yet become a priority for the state.”

Press TV further reports that initial detention centers are estimated to hold more than 300 percent of their capacity and detainees take turns sleeping because of lack of space, it said.

The Egyptian government has been cracking down on the opposition since the first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted in a military coup led by the then head of the armed forces and current president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in July 2013.

President Sisi has been accused of leading the suppression of Morsi’s supporters, and hundreds of the Morsi supporters have been killed in clashes with security forces since the ouster.

According to reports, rights groups say the army’s crackdown has led to the deaths of over 1,400 people and the arrest of 22,000 others, including some 200 people who have been sentenced to death in mass trials.