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Journalist claims systematic torture in Egyptian detention centres

Khalid Mohammed Abdul-Raouf, a student journalist jailed after the military coup in Egypt on suspicion of working for Al-Jazeera network, has confirmed to the Cairo Criminal Court that political detainees are being exposed to systematic torture in the Scorpion prison, as well as face many murder attempts by the prison authority.

Khalid, a student journalist at Cairo University, is among twenty Egyptians and foreigners charged with forming a media network to undermine Egypt's image abroad by fabricating footage and broadcasting it on CNN and Al-Jazeera.

According to Alamatonline.net, Khalid explained to the court that the prison authority is trying various means and using all pressure, including torture, to break their will. In addition, he noted that placing a large number of detainees inside a small room is inhumane.

He pointed out that the doctors witness the torture, but they cannot do anything to prevent it; even when detainees fall inside their cells, there is no response from the prison administration to their calls for medical treatment.

Khalid added that: "We are constantly exposed to sharp drops in blood pressure, as we are being treated like animals, and we have suffered numerous injuries as a result of the different attacks that we are subjected to."

Khalid's father previously described the torture to Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK, saying his son had told him that: "their hands and feet were tied and they were blindfolded as they were beaten brutally on their backs, legs and heads. Police officers would stub out their cigarettes on their bodies and pluck out their beards. The detainees were stripped naked and electrocuted to force them to sign sworn statements and agree to be photographed with seized goods that did not belong to them. And despite informing the attorney general of the torture they endured, nothing was done to alleviate their suffering and they were ordered to be remanded in custody until their referral the Criminal Court."

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