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Eygption Police officer uses a cellphone to film a man being sodomized by police.
January 22, 2007 2:36 AM   Subscribe

Eygption Police officer use a cellphone to film a man being sodomized by police. Egyptian opposition media have claimed that in the police academy, recruits are trained to use torture to extract confessions. (NSFW) video on youtube.
posted by IronWolve (51 comments total)

 
Doh, typos... You hear about how bad the Egyptian police, but damn.
posted by IronWolve at 2:40 AM on January 22, 2007


Do you have another link so I don't have register with Youtube?
posted by Brittanie at 2:44 AM on January 22, 2007


Oh fuck, I'm such a pansy sometimes but I couldn't get past the first few seconds.
posted by liquorice at 2:45 AM on January 22, 2007


Damn. I'm surprised it's still on youtube.
posted by delmoi at 2:50 AM on January 22, 2007


Christ. I have no words.
posted by maryh at 3:29 AM on January 22, 2007


That's Egypt for you. Torture by the government isn't exactly new. I found it to be an incredible place with many wonderful people in it who will be my lifelong friends, but I thank God that I wasn't born there (especially as a woman), that's for sure. Average Egyptians face a lot of injustices in daily life that as an American I can't even fathom. There are freedoms I have that I never even KNEW I was taking for granted before.

Looks like the victim is in jail now... soooo he's toast.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:34 AM on January 22, 2007


Forgot to include this link...
posted by miss lynnster at 3:37 AM on January 22, 2007


Appalling.
posted by hadjiboy at 3:48 AM on January 22, 2007


Brittanie, do yourself a favor and skip that link.
posted by caddis at 4:05 AM on January 22, 2007


Do you have another link so I don't have register with Youtube?

Once you've seen one guy on the floor having a broom handle shoved far into is ass, then turned around like a butter churner, all the while screaming his head off as internal hemorrhaging slowly fills the cavity with blood... well, you've seen them all.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:25 AM on January 22, 2007


A rare instance of the term "sodomy" seeming morally and theologically appropriate.
posted by stammer at 4:30 AM on January 22, 2007


I found it to be an incredible place...

Egypt seems quite credible Miss Lynster. Credibly fucked up.

What is incredible is that Egypt is the second largest receipient of U.S. foreign aid:

The United States Congress budget committee has approved the US foreign aid budget for 2007 of USD 21.3 billion. The budget includes aid for Israel (USD 2.4 billion) and Egypt (USD 1.7 billion).
posted by three blind mice at 4:47 AM on January 22, 2007


I wonder if the response will be same as the dominant American media response to the Saddam execution. Namely, that it was poorly done by allowing people to film it.
posted by srboisvert at 5:05 AM on January 22, 2007


More on this incident at the Arabist:
El-Adly Video-Gate: Correction and Updates…
Interior Ministry’s “videogate” takes a new turn

There's this subject, plus much more on Egypt at the Arabist.
posted by NoMich at 6:02 AM on January 22, 2007


egypt. yet another friend of america.

this is one of the places we sent unindicted prisoners to for interrogation. so what value are those confessions?

egypt, by the camp david accords, is alloted 3/5(?) of the aid given to israel. the only friends america has are those it can buy.

and 95%(?) of the total foreign aid the us gives is military aid. no wonder america is hated by the rest of the world as the greedy self-serving arrogant imperialistic ....

so when you hear that america has increased its foreign aid to a country, (the one i'm thinking of now is nigeria. nigeria? they have oil. what do they need aid for?), think future war zone.

i left america when they invaded iraq.
posted by altman at 6:04 AM on January 22, 2007


Torture is routine police practice throughout much of the Middle East (Turkey and Iran being notorious cases—I recommend Torture & modernity: self, society, and state in modern Iran by Darius M. Rejali for a good theoretical discussion), and probably in more places than we would think. The question is not "why are Egyptians so fucked up" but "why are humans so fucked up." To which I do not have an answer. But I'm not clicking that link.
posted by languagehat at 6:07 AM on January 22, 2007


I was walking one night with a friend of mine near the tourist bazaar in Cairo, when two internal security cops came from the other direction. One, in front, looked to be an officer, followed by a senior NCO. They ignored my buddy, until they saw me. The officer turned to my buddy and began questioning him sharply. "What are you doing with this khoaja [foreigner]? Where are you going?"
My buddy's teeth starting chattering, he was so scared. I have never seen anyone so scared. He could barely talk. I stepped up and said I was a friend. The cop gave me a long, open-eyed look and walked away without another word.
posted by atchafalaya at 6:16 AM on January 22, 2007


I was wondering how long it was going to take for this situation to be tied to Americans in this thread, because you know, Americans invented torture, and if it happened its because Bush ordered it and paid for it with his foriegn aid, oh, and yeah because all cops are brutal ass rapists.

miss lynster has it right, as fucked up and as far from ideal as the US is...

"Average Egyptians face a lot of injustices in daily life that as an American I can't even fathom. There are freedoms I have that I never even KNEW I was taking for granted before."

er, make that "Average people throughout the world..."
posted by sfts2 at 7:11 AM on January 22, 2007


I'm surprised it's still on youtube.

Me too. Maybe some of the earlier criticisms about YouTube yanking graphic but newsworthy Iraq war footage has finally stung enough to get them to stop reacting so stupidly. That, and maybe they're scared of losing eyeballs to other sites that aren't afraid to show graphic news clips. Either way, let's hope it's a trend away from their schoolmarm phase - for news, anyway.
posted by mediareport at 7:49 AM on January 22, 2007


languagehat: "Torture is routine police practice throughout much of the Middle East (Turkey and Iran being notorious cases—I recommend Torture & modernity: self, society, and state in modern Iran by Darius M. Rejali for a good theoretical discussion)."

Yes, those Middle Easterners need to brush up on their Foucault. Corporal punishment is so allah-dammed seventeenth century! Don't they realize that the Panopticon is so much more effective as a means of social control? Did all that Soviet aid in the sixties and seventies teach them nothing?

Mind you, they'd better skip the bathhouse stuff. That might take them outside of their comfort zone, and not be conducive to their learning.

Or alternatively, perhaps it was surreptitiously reading the bathhouse stuff in an oppressively religiously total institution that prompts this sort of torture in the first place?

Dick = teh ghey!
Fist = teh ghey!
Nightstick = mucho macho man!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:08 AM on January 22, 2007


what a silly, pointless world we live in.
posted by phaedon at 8:41 AM on January 22, 2007


Well, while all of the above is true, Egypt is not simply "credibly fucked up." No more than any country or culture is. There's shit that goes on there that's horrible. It's basically a dictatorship. But there are also amazingly wonderful things about the place and some really beautiful people.

As far as our aid, a lot of that goes back to the Sinai Peace Treaty. Egypt's peace treaty is the only one that's held, and while the Egyptian people aren't happy that their government is so closely tied to the United States, they're glad they're not being bombed by Israel & that they have Sinai. Egypt is the lead mediator between Israelis & Palestinians... in comparison to everyone else, the country is considered relatively stable now.

I sent a birthday present to my friend in Cairo a month ago. I made it, so that it would get through customs without being declared valuable. I paid $40 to ship it. It finally arrived in Cairo three days ago. Airport customs officers demanded he pay $35 to take it home. I had wrote on the customs form that it was worth $3. He only makes $100 a week. It ended up being a giant screaming argument in the post office where he had to rip it open to show it wasn't worth $35. He had to pay it anyways or they were going to arrest him for making a scene.

Not really the way I was hoping my friend would receive my present...
posted by miss lynnster at 8:50 AM on January 22, 2007


One of the reasons that people might think the US has some culpability for this situation might be that the Egyptian police have been trained to torture by CIA since the 1950s.
posted by asok at 9:29 AM on January 22, 2007


Well... we trained Osama Bin Laden too...
posted by miss lynnster at 9:54 AM on January 22, 2007


As it turns out, part of our foreign aid package to Egypt involves police training. Looks like Justin Volpe's on loan, ready to break a man today, or any day.
posted by adipocere at 10:05 AM on January 22, 2007


Wow. I just hope the Egyptian police haven't been absorbed by the Goatse phenomenon yet.

Yeah, I know, that's a pretty immature reaction. Well this is some pretty immature bullshit to react to. I was just thinking, "Hey, I'm not feeling too bad for what's supposed to be the most depressing day of the year!" And then I saw this.

Last spring I went with a group to Sharm el Sheikh, an Egyptian resort town situated next to the Red Sea. In July, 2005 the town was hit by three suicide bombers, killing 64 people. Everyone in our group had been told about the attack and all the security measures that had supposedly been enacted since, but much of our stay was spent on edge, seeing as it was technically the off-season and we were the first Americans to stay at our particular resort. Yet everyone was extraordinarily nice, and I made several new friends during the stay. I still keep in touch with a computer programmer who worked at our hotel named Ahmed.

In April of last year, about a month after our group had left Egypt, the nearby resort town of Dahab (which several people in our entourage had visited) was blasted even further back into the Stone Age by another bombing. I think the death toll came out to approx. 25, including locals and tourists.

I really feel for the people in that country, as there should be so much promise and pride to be found in their nationality, but Egypt as it is now really doesn't have its shit together. Egypt has a tourist industry because it was home to one of the oldest and most interesting civilizations to ever walk the Earth. It will greatly damage its tourist industry because some people just can't make that leap into modernity. Unless in our world modernity = still violating human rights, but capturing it all on your bithcin' cell phone!!!
posted by Curry at 10:05 AM on January 22, 2007


Well, while all of the above is true, Egypt is not simply "credibly fucked up." No more than any country or culture is...

LOL, Miss Lynster. So Egypt and, say, Sweden are equally fucked up when it comes to human rights?

In my view any country and any culture that permits their police to ass-rape suspects with a pole is demonstrably and credibly fucked up.
posted by three blind mice at 10:44 AM on January 22, 2007


Yes, those Middle Easterners need to brush up on their Foucault.

What the flaming fuck are you talking about? Since you quote me, I presume that's some sort of "ironic" riposte to my recommendation of Rejali, and I presume further that you're assuming that the book is some sort of jargon-laden, airy theoryfest with no relation to the real world. As it happens, the first sentence in the book is "This book is about torturers and the world they live in," and it's a fair summary. If you think any kind of theoretical discussion somehow diminishes opposition to torture, that the only appropriate response to Bad Things is to shriek "Evil! Evil!" and refuse to listen to anything further, if you have no desire to understand what might be going on, then I guess there's no point recommending any reading matter to you. For anyone who does want to understand the persistence of torture, Rejali is a good starting place. And no, it's not just about the Middle East.
posted by languagehat at 10:47 AM on January 22, 2007 [5 favorites]


the REAL horror is that the behavior in this video is repeated in police departments thousands of times a day..

Right here in the US.

But then again, if you voted for Bush (killed Habeas Corpus), you wouldn't be horrified.
posted by stevejensen at 11:01 AM on January 22, 2007


the REAL horror is that the behavior in this video is repeated in police departments thousands of times a day..
Right here in the US.


Gee, that sure sounds like you're saying torture that happens to people way over there in Egypt isn't really horrible, but if it happens to Americans it is. I'm sure that's not what you meant to say.
posted by languagehat at 11:08 AM on January 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


...thousands of times a day...

umm... no.
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:10 AM on January 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Every country is fucked up. Some are fucked up with violence. Some are fucked with inhumanity. Some with apathy and ignorance. Some with lack of progress. All countries are fucked up somehow, no place inhabited by man is trouble free. Nobody on the Earth lives in a country that is idyllic & free of injustice. Egyptian injustice is obviously far different than Sweden's, but Sweden has its own brand. We all have it, around the world. Different breeds of it. THAT is the point I was making.

The other point I always try to remember is that there are many good people and good things in every country around the world as well... even in countries like Egypt where so many unfathomably awful things happen to the citizens. It's as great of a place as it is an awful one.

I just feel pain for my friends who live there and have to face this stuff daily.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:33 AM on January 22, 2007


Curry, I was in Luxor when Dahab was bombed. It was so tragic, and I saw such deep sadness in Egyptian faces on those days. A lot of people back home e-mailed & urged me to leave because I was in danger, but the violence going on wasn't about us. (If you want to kill American tourists, you don't bomb an Egyptian supermarket in Dahab.) The violence is all just so tragic and scary for everyone... it was really enlightening to listen to the local perspectives on it while I was there.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:55 AM on January 22, 2007


Languagehat, if you have a few moments can you give some idea of what Rejali has to say? I looked around a little bit, but was only tantalized.
posted by jamjam at 11:57 AM on January 22, 2007


"In my view any country and any culture that permits their police to ass-rape suspects with a pole is demonstrably and credibly fucked up."

Hmmm. three blind mice? You seem to have a SUPER short term memory...
posted by miss lynnster at 12:00 PM on January 22, 2007


more torture fun:

Clip from a video referenced in the Arabist blog post about the rape video.
posted by casconed at 12:10 PM on January 22, 2007


Well said languagehat. I also recommend Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture about state-performed torture in Israel, Ireland and the USA (Chicago).

Amazing book. And utterly depressing. First world torturers perform their duties, duties are doccumented by 'open' media and 'free' courts, and public opinion says 'meh'.
posted by lalochezia at 12:27 PM on January 22, 2007


can you give some idea of what Rejali has to say?

Here's a couple of pieces by him that should give you an idea:

Torture's Dark Allure (Salon, 2004)

How Not to Talk About Torture
The latter from his home page, which I see has links to a bunch of his articles—what a great resource! Thanks for getting me to look around and find it. It's amazing to me that so few scholars have taken on such an important subject.
posted by languagehat at 12:32 PM on January 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


Excellent, languagehat. From the concluding paragraph of the first article you linked:

In modern times, France routinized torture in Algeria, producing a racist, tiered society and an aggressive military government that almost overthrew French democracy.

As well as a legacy of alienation among ethnically Arab residents which is probably its worst political problem now and foreseeably.
posted by jamjam at 1:28 PM on January 22, 2007


Every country is fucked up.

Maybe, but some are a lot more than others.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:28 PM on January 22, 2007


Well, I definitely appreciate a LOT about mine & I feel blessed to live in it, but it's in the toilet too. Difference is, it's a bright & shiny, red, white & blue toilet... with 50 gold leafed stars shining all over the seat. Ooh, that's hot!
posted by miss lynnster at 2:23 PM on January 22, 2007


Every country is fucked up.

I think you are making a mistake here. It is more like "Every country fucks up". The question is in how you respond when you fuck up.

Interesting that this shows up on a day when the UK news is filled with reports that their spy agencies were protecting known serial killers and some of the top countries were in the loop.

Accountability always seems to go out the window in the same water as good judgment during war.
posted by srboisvert at 2:43 PM on January 22, 2007


So, in so many ways, it's a pretty shitty film - crunchingly obvious Marian symbolism, more exposition packed into dialogue than any three Star Trek episodes - but Children of Men also happens to be an awfully compelling vision of what happens to people in a world without hope.

One of the things that really put the hook in me (and I've seen it three times now) is the sense it conveyed of how the disappearance of that hope can be an auto-catalytic thing. We pass a lip, or a threshold, and it organizes itself, gathers speed, races to the abyss. Or, more properly, we do, right? We're the ones racing.

In the film, the proverbial last straw, and also the MacGuffin that drives what there is of the plot, is a global infertility epidemic. But that's pretty heavy-handed. You don't need anything so crunchingly obvious to destroy your sense of hope. At least - I'll speak only for myself - I sure don't.

All I needed to is to see what's behind that link.

Now I'm no babe in the woods. I've always known, intellectually, what happens every day, around the world, anywhere the boot goes in and the strong overmaster the weak. Intellectually. It's another thing entirely to see (and especially to hear)...and then to multiply, and multiply again.

I mean, it is about Egypt, and it isn't. Of course it's about the individual perpetrators, and the specific force whose uniform they wear, and the specific institutions which trained and funded that force. But it's bigger than that, and a whole lot older, and I feel simultaneously somehow reduced to zero and just a little wiser for having seen it.

I don't know why I chose to click on that link. I assiduously avoided the Daniel Pearl video, for example; I've already come to regard you, IronWolve, as not a particularly resplendent addition to the MeFi roster in your short time posting here; and I'm surely no fan of Something Awful-style gurning at the unspeakable. In a way, though, thanks.

I'm not even sure exactly what it is that I'm trying to get out. Maybe I'm just typing to blot the shrieks from my mind. Forgive me. Fuck.

That poor man. I hope he's being cared for.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:04 PM on January 22, 2007


miss lynnster: I'm not entirely sure why you feel that an adequate response to three blind mice's comments is to point out that somewhat similar events have occurred in the United States?
Surely you are not trying to say that actions in the one country excuse those in the other?
posted by nightchrome at 4:28 PM on January 22, 2007


"I've already come to regard you, IronWolve, as not a particularly resplendent addition to the MeFi roster in your short time posting here; and I'm surely no fan of Something Awful-style gurning at the unspeakable. In a way, though, thanks."

This is reality. Don't shoot the messenger because the world is a fucked up place.
posted by stenseng at 6:14 PM on January 22, 2007


Never said that, nightchrome. Never implied it in the slightest. He was criticizing any country that could let this happen and my response was that it's not as though it's never happened here. America is not above brutality either, unfortunately.

Was on the phone with my friend in Cairo about this earlier today, talking about how inhuman & wrong it is. As stenseng said, unfortunately the world is a fucked up place. Period.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:38 PM on January 22, 2007


I should never have looked at that. I'm going to need my inflight airsickness bag now. Oh man.

(I'm also going to watch the Dancing Guy video a few bazillion times before reading any of the links posted by languagehat. I want to educate myself more on the nature of torture, but I also want to get some sleep tonight.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:50 PM on January 22, 2007


A subcontractor for the CIA lost her job blogging about the CIA's use of waterboarding as a torture technique. Discussed previously on MetaFilter.

What the torturers did to that poor guy, who was simply trying to break up a fight is truly a horror. My prayers for him and maybe the nightmare of it being shown around the world will help in making constructive changes. I hope so.
posted by nickyskye at 12:17 AM on January 23, 2007


Are we sure this isn't the George Michael sex-tape?
posted by lemonfridge at 1:43 AM on January 23, 2007


More to read: Torture Taxi, on the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme. (discussed before on MeFi)
posted by LanTao at 6:18 AM on January 23, 2007


This is reality. Don't shoot the messenger because the world is a fucked up place.

stenseng, you've missed the point. I'm not blaming IronWolve for the content of the video; I'm expressing my distaste for his judgment as that judgment has been expressed over multiple posts.
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:14 AM on January 23, 2007


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