The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Details of Kifaya protester's rape with piece of rolled-up cardboard

I should have a copy of Sharqawi's full testimony later, but the AP is covering the story:

CAIRO, Egypt -- Egyptian police allegedly tortured two protesters - sexually assaulting one of them - after a peaceful demonstration in support of pro-reform judges, a lawyer and an opposition group said Friday.

Activist Mohammed el-Sharkawi, 24, was sodomized "using a rolled up piece of cardboard for nearly 15 minutes," his lawyer Gamal Eid told The Associated Press.

"Almost all of el-Sharkawi's body is bruised, swollen, or cut," Eid said. "I haven't seen such brutality and sadism since 1995," he added, referring to a period when the state mounted a crackdown on Islamic militants.

The alleged assault occurred Thursday night after el-Sharkawi was taken to a Cairo police station, the lawyer said. The lawyer said El-Sharkawi told him about the incident when Eid was permitted to attend an interrogation session later that night.

Interior Ministry officials were not available for comment.

An Associated Press reporter on Thursday saw more than 15 men in plainclothes grab el-Sharkawi and punch and kick him after he participated in a peaceful protest outside of the Journalists' Syndicate in downtown Cairo.
A more cautious story is at Middle East Online. I can understand news agencies wanting to be cautious about this, but it has been verified by reputable Egyptian human rights activists and the international rights organizations are working on it. This story needs to get out. See previous posts on Arabist here and here, including a picture of Sharqawi.