by Patrick Appel
An example of Egyptian torture from an infamous 2007 incident (NSFW):
This forced sodomy with a stick is not related to the war on terror, but it illustrates the brutality of Egypt's forces. Building off Jane Mayer's report on America outsourcing its torture to Egypt, Adam Serwer asks:
While the Obama administration has been quietly pressuring Egypt on human rights issues behind the scenes, it's not hard to understand why neither Mubarak nor the leadership of Egyptian security forces would take this too seriously. For years the United States has implicitly asked Egypt to violate human rights laws on our behalf. Why would they take U.S. calls to respect them seriously now?
Joe Stork of HRW has more on Egypt's record on torture:
Torture is an endemic problem in Egypt and ending police abuse has been a driving element behind the massive popular demonstrations that swept Egypt over the past week - Human Rights Watch has documented the torture in a 95-page report, "'Work on Him Until He Confesses': Impunity for Torture in Egypt."
Egyptians deserve a clean break from the incredibly entrenched practice of torture. The Egyptian government's foul record on this issue is a huge part of what is still bringing crowds onto the streets today.
Prosecuting torture and ending the emergency laws that enable a culture of impunity for the security forces should be a priority for the new Egyptian government.