Egypt Must Investigate Security Forces Crimes

Rights defender Musaad Abu Fagr was held in SSI detention for years © Amnesty International

One of the first acts taken by Hosni Mubarak when he became Egyptian president in 1981 was to release numerous political prisoners.  Amnesty International applauded him but called on the new president to rein in Egyptian security forces and to dismantle the system of administrative detention.

Thirty years later, as Mubarak himself faces criminal charges in Egypt, Amnesty International renews its old call to rein in the security forces and to end the crippling extrajudicial legal system that facilitates torture, punishes political activists and ordinary Egyptians alike and has muzzled a once-vibrant civil society for decades.

In a damning report released April 20, Time for Justice: Egypt’s Corrosive System of Detention, Amnesty International calls for an independent inquiry into human rights abuses committed by the much feared State Security Investigations Service (SSI).

This is a moment for fundamental change. It demands immediate concrete steps from the authorities so that those responsible for serious human rights violations are held to account.  Egyptians must see justice done for the human rights abuses of the past.