Rule of law in Egypt 'unravelling'

Rule of law in Egypt 'unravelling'
As alarm grows at the dire state of human rights in Egypt, many are expressing their concern over the rule of law following the death of a lawyer in custody.
2 min read
12 August, 2015
Protests against the death of Karim Hamdy in March 2015 [Anadolu]
Human rights groups in Egypt have expressed concern for the rule of law in Egypt after a lawyer died in custody in February.

Karim Hamdy was arrested at his north Cairo flat and died two days later at Matariya police station.

The 27-year old was a respected member of the Egyptian Lawyers Syndicate and was known for defending clients who had themselves been abused under police detention.

     The death of a lawyer shows the unravelling of the rule of law and a heightened sense of impunity

Medical officials who examined the 27-year-old lawyer's body said it showed signs of torture, including ten broken ribs and bleeding in the brain.

Many Egyptians have died in custody in the two-years of military-backed rule since President Mohamed Morsi was removed from power in 2013.

However the death of a lawyer shows what rights monitors say "is the unravelling of the rule of law" and "a heightened sense of impunity", reports UK newspaper The Guardian.

"We see an escalation of torture and a maintenance if not an increase of impunity, and a ruthlessness in using torture, a carelessness," said Aida Seif El Dawla, executive director of the al-Nadeem Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, a Cairo-based organisation that helps torture victims.

"It gives the impression that there is a sense of 'We'll get away with it,'" Dawla said.

Hamdy was seized by members of the National Security agency who arrested him for taking part in an unauthorised protest and on a weapons charge.

He confessed on video, but when he was turned over to prosecutors he told them he was forced to confess under torture. When he failed to appear prosecutors the following day, lawyers were told he had died.