For years, unnamed government officials have acknowledged that they use “extraordinary renditions” to send suspects to other countries to be tortured. Our ally Egypt is a favorite destination of such flights. Now, videos of Egyptian torture have forced Americans to see what such “special treatment” is like for suspects. In one video, a woman is forced to strip and is abused by a police officer and in another Egyptian mini-bus driver, Emad el-Kabir, 21,l is shown screaming on the floor as officers sodomize him with a wooden pole. The police then sent the video to el-Kabir’s friends to humiliate him. These videos remove the abstract quality of the debate over U.S. torture policies, both in terms of waterboarding and extraordinary renditions.
Both of the videos were put on Youtube and have been seen around the world. What is most striking about the el-Kabir video is that the police were so unconcerned about disclosure of torture that they sent it to the victim’s friends. It was only due to Youtube and public outcry that the officers were given relatively short prison sentences. For an article, click here These are the same individuals who handle our own torture needs through extraordinary renditions.
Compounding the shock, it turns out that it was the police who made the film, and that they then transmitted it to the cell phones of the victim’s friends in order to humiliate him.
The most recent video shows a woman being beaten and forced to strip. I include this this link for those who want to see what is entailed in such abuse. I debated whether the post these links, but the problem with the current debate is that the Bush Administration (and many in Congress of both parties) prefer to keep such matters on an abstract level. Perhaps it is time to see what such “interrogations” involve. This video is mild in comparison to the abuse of el-Kabir. For an article on the latest video, click here
Youtube also contains this video of another woman in an Egyptian torture cell.
Egyptian mini-bus driver, Emad el-Kabir, 21, whom police sodomized, filmed his torture and transmitted it to the cell phones of the victim’s friends in order to humiliate him, looks on behind the bars inside a courtroom on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007 in Cairo, where he was sentenced to three months in prison for `resisting authorities.’ (AP Photo/Al Masry Al Youm, File) (Al Masry Al Youm – AP)
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For Egypt, the ordeal of 21-year-old Emad el-Kabir has been something of a Rodney King moment _ a sudden, stark glimpse of a reality which authorities routinely deny, but which human rights groups say is part of a pattern of police brutality.
But unlike the tape of the Los Angeles police beating up King in 1991, which was aired almost immediately, the attack on el-Kabir happened a year ago, and has only became public months later after an Egyptian blogger posted it on his site and it reached YouTube.