COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
26 April-14 May 1999
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE
19 OF THE CONVENTION
Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture
197. The Committee considered
the third periodic report of Egypt (CAT/C/34/Add.11) at its 382nd,
385th and 389th meetings, held on 7, 10 and 12 May 1999 (CAT/C/SR.382,
385 and 389) and has adopted the following conclusions and recommendations.
198. The Committee welcomes
the third periodic report of Egypt, submitted some two and a half
years late, but generally in accordance with the requirements for
such a report. The Committee also welcomes the verbal introduction
to the report by the Egyptian representatives.
2. Positive aspects
199. The release of large
numbers of persons held under the Emergency Act, 1958.
200. The reduction of
complaints of maltreatment by persons detained under the Emergency
201. The broad literacy
and educational programme undertaken by the Egyptian Government.
202. The creation of the
Office of Human Rights in the Public Prosecutor's Department to investigate
complaints of, inter alia, torture.
203. The Committee was
pleased to learn of improvements in the quality of some of the Egyptian
204. The Committee was
also pleased to learn that "hundreds" of torture victims have been
compensated by the Egyptian civil courts.
205. The Committee is
encouraged by the extensive dialogue in which it engaged with the
3. Factors and difficulties
impeding the application of the provisions of the Convention
206. The ongoing state
of emergency in response to the persistent terrorist threat. This
seems to have created a culture of violence among certain elements
of the police and security forces. Such terrorist threat, of course,
may not be invoked as justification for breaches of the provisions
of the Convention, especially articles 1, 2 and 16.
4. Subjects of concern
207. The large number
of allegations of torture and even of death relating to detainees
made against both the police and the State Security Intelligence.
208. Despite the improvements
made by the Government, the conditions of some prisons in Egypt.
209. The allegation from
the World Organization against Torture of treatment of female detainees,
by both the police and the State Security Intelligence, which sometimes
involves sexual abuse or threat of such abuse in order to obtain information
relating to husbands or other family members.
210. The Committee is
seriously concerned at allegations that persons have been held in
police or State Security Intelligence custody in defiance of court
orders to release them.
211. The Committee recommends
that Egypt take effective measures to prevent torture in police and
State Security Intelligence custody and that all perpetrators be vigorously
212. It also recommends
that effective steps be taken to protect women from threats of sexual
abuse by police and officers of the State Security Intelligence as
a means of obtaining information from them.
213. It further recommends
that a proper registry of detainees, both police and State Security
Intelligence, which is accessible to members of the public, be established
214. The Committee encourages
the Egyptian Government to continue with its policy of upgrading its
215. The Government of
Egypt should provide the Committee with information in writing concerning
the number and circumstances of deaths in custody over the past five
216. The Committee urges
Egypt to consider making a declaration in favour of articles 21 and
22 of the Convention.