이집트 카이로에서 정치 개혁을 요구하는 시위에 참가한 90여 명의 시민들이 경찰 당국에 구금 되는 일이 발생했다. 국제앰네스티는 평화적 시위자들에 대한 이집트 정부의 체포, 구금 및 폭력에 대해 비판했다.
지난 4월 6일 카이로 중심부의 타흐리르(Tahrir) 광장에서는 시위 및 표현의 자유 억압을 비롯해 인권침해와 관련해 이집트 정부를 규탄하는 집회가 열렸다. 집회에 참석한 시위자들은 이집트 국민들의 인권을 침해하는데 이용돼 온 29년간의 비상사태를 종식할 것을 요구했다.
실제로 이집트에서는 1981년 국가 비상사태가 선포된 이래로, 시위를 금지하고 표현의 자유와 집회 및 결사의 자유를 억압하는데 국가비상법의 조항이 이용돼 왔다. 또한 재판 없는 구금 연장, 고문, 기타 부당한 대우를 비롯해 군사 및 비상 법정에서의 불공정한 재판 등 지난 29년 동안 수많은 인권 침해가 발생했다.
이날 집회를 막기 위해, 이른 아침부터 경찰 병력이 집회 장소와 수많은 대학에 배치됐다. 집회에 참여하려 했던 이들 중 일부는 격리됐으며, 경찰로부터 구타 및 위협을 당한 것으로 전해진다.
90명이 넘는 시위자들이 체포된 가운데, 이들 대부분은 “군사감옥”으로 불리는 구금 시설로 옮겨질 예정이다. 구금된 이들 중 일부는 체포 과정에서 심각한 부상을 입은 것으로 알려졌다. 이들은 추가적인 구타와 부당한 대우의 위험에 노출돼있다.
이에 국제앰네스티 중동-북아프리카국(局) 말콤 스마트 국장은 “(이집트 정부는) 야당 활동가들과 정부 비판자들에 대한 위협을 당장 멈춰야 한다”고 말했다. 그는 “이집트 정부가 평화적인 시위자들을 허용하고 보호함으로써 인권에 대한 의지를 보여줘야 한다”고 지적했다.
국제앰네스티는 이집트 정부에 표현의 자유 및 집회와 결사의 자유에 대한 권리를 지지할 것과, 국제법 하에서 이집트의 책무에 따라 이 같은 권리들과 함께 정치 참여와 대중활동을 보장할 것을 촉구했다.
Egyptian security forces arrest and beat peaceful protestors
Tuesday 6 April 2010 More than 90 people were detained in Cairo for taking part in demonstrations calling for political reform on Tuesday.
Amnesty International has condemned arrests, detentions and violence meted out against peaceful protesters in Egypt, after more than 90 people were detained in Cairo for taking part in demonstrations calling for political reform on Tuesday.
The demonstrators were also calling for an end to a 29-year government-imposed state of emergency, which has been used to curb protests, freedom of expression and abuse other human rights.
“This intimidation of opposition activists and government critics must end immediately,” said Malcolm Smart, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.
“The Egyptian authorities should demonstrate their commitment to human rights by allowing and protecting peaceful protests.”
Heavy security was deployed earlier today along the main gathering points in Cairo, as well as in a number of universities, in order to prevent assemblies from taking place. It was unclear how many people attended or tried to attend the protests.
Many protestors were cordoned off by security forces before being beaten and kicked as they sought to converge on Tahrir Square in central Cairo. Others were beaten with sticks and threatened with knives by security forces in plain clothes.
Several arrests were made in Alexandria train station, where many people were prevented from travelling to Cairo to join the demonstrations.
Former presidential candidate, Ayman Nour, and several members of his al-Ghad political party were reportedly assaulted and prevented from leaving the party’s offices in central Cairo.
Most of those arrested were also ordered to hand over their mobile phones and identity documents. The detainees will now be transferred to a detention facility called “the military prison”.
Some of those detained are said to have been seriously injured during their arrests. There are also fears that many may be at risk of further beatings and ill-treatment while in custody.
The authorities have also barred journalists from covering the protests and confiscated their equipment. Those affected included an Al-Jazeera correspondent, a reporter of Egyptian Dream TV, a journalist for al-Karama newspaper and a photographer from al-Masry al-Youm newspaper.
Today’s arrests and detentions came after civil rights groups announced their intention to hold protests in early April, and demanded that legislative elections to be held in May, June and November this year, are conducted freely and fairly.
“The authorities must release immediately any one arrested and detained for peacefully expressing their rights to freedom of expression and assembly,” said Malcolm Smart.
Since the state of emergency was imposed in 1981, the Egyptian authorities have used emergency law provisions to ban demonstrations and curb freedom of expression and the related rights to freedom of association and assembly.
The Egyptian authorities have also committed a range of other human rights violations during the past 29 years, including prolonged detention without trial, torture and other ill-treatment, and unfair trials before military and emergency courts.
Amnesty International urged the government to uphold the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, including by honouring the commitment it made to the UN Human Rights Council during its Universal Periodic Review of human rights in Egypt in February 2010, to guarantee these rights and the right to participate in public life and politics in line with its obligations under international law.