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Egyptian Torture Rehabilitation Center Wins Amnesty Human Rights Award

Egyptian Torture Rehabilitation Center Wins Amnesty Human Rights Award

Founders of the centre. Credit: Dana Smillie/ Amnesty International

On Wednesday, Egypt’s Nadeem Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture won the 9th Amnesty International Germany Human Rights Award.

“To mark the 7th anniversary of the Egyptian revolution (25 January), Amnesty is taking a strong stand against torture in Egypt by awarding the Nadeem Centre its Human Rights Award,” said an official Amnesty statement.

The Egyptian government denies the use of torture. Security forces have repeatedly tried to prevent the centre from doing its work, including temporarily freezing the organisation’s accounts in 2016 and imposing travel bans on two of its founders. In February 2017 security forces stormed the Nadeem Centre, closing and sealing off its clinical spaces. The Nadeem Centre appealed against the closure of the clinic later that same month, with the verdict due on 21 February 2018.

“By presenting the award to the Nadeem Centre, Amnesty International is recognising its important role in the fight for human rights in Egypt. The Nadeem Centre’s staff provide medical and psychological care to torture survivors under the most difficult of conditions, and bringing to light the grave human rights abuses that are being perpetrated”, said Amnesty in justifying its reasons for presenting the centre with its award.

“It has been seven years since the Egyptian revolution started, and the human rights situation has never been worse there. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government is systematically suppressing political opponents. The police and intelligence services are responsible for heinous crimes such as torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings”, said Markus N. Beeko, Secretary General of Amnesty International in Germany.

“Authorities are also increasingly targeting human rights activists. And recently, a law restricting the work of non-governmental organisations was adopted. By presenting the Amnesty Human Rights Award to the Nadeem Centre, we want to support all the courageous women and men who put their lives on the line in the struggle against torture, violence and despotism in Egypt.”

The Egyptian government has in the past accused Amnesty International and other international human rights organisations of incitement against Egypt and of spreading lies and false information. Amnesty International has repeatedly denied these claims.

The award will be presented on 16 April at the Volksbühne theatre in Berlin.

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@AyaNaderM

Aya Nader is an independent journalist based in Egypt, published in Open Democracy, Daily News Egypt, The National, and Al-Monitor, among others. She is an MA candidate in International Relations at the American University in Cairo.

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