Torture and Impunity Continue in Egypt - Amnesty
Published 2013-05-24 10:41:22| Amwal Al Ghad English
Amnesty International has criticized what it describes as the continuity of torture in Egypt and a failure to punish those responsible for abuses. In its annual Egypt report, the human rights group that said torture policies, discrimination and impunity from punishment persisted in Egypt in 2012. “No legal or policy reforms were implemented to eradicate torture under either the SCAF (Supreme Council of Armed Forces) or President Morsi’s administration,” the report stated. The dissolved People’s Assembly discussed harsher penalties for torture but it did not introduce them before its dissolution. “Torture and other ill-treatment continued and security forces acted with impunity,” stated the report. The report echoed Egyptian human rights activists and opposition critics, who have brought attention to numerous cases of alleged torture by police and security services since the start of the revolution. The report covers the period from January to December 2012.
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Twelve years after the "war on terror" began, President Barack Obama wants to pull the United States back from some of the most controversial aspects of its global fight against Islamist militants. In a major policy speech on Thursday, Obama narrowed the scope of the targeted-killing drone campaign against al Qaeda and its allies and took steps toward closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba. He acknowledged the past use of "torture" in U.S. interrogations; expressed remorse over civilian casualties from drone strikes; and said that the Guantanamo detention facility "has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law." After launching costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States is tiring of conflict. While combating terrorism is still a high priority for the White House, polls show by large margins that Americans' main concerns are the economy and domestic concerns such as healthcare. "We have now been at war for well over a decade," Obama said near the start of his address. Toward the end, he added: "But this war, like all wars, must end." Though aimed first at a domestic audience, Obama's speech at Washington's National Defense University was also the latest milestone in his campaign to reshape the global image of the United States - particularly in the Islamic world.
Tunisia is in talks with Qatar over a deposit in Tunis' central bank "with easy conditions" Prime Minister Ali Larayedh said on Thursday. "Qatari officials have shown their willingness to support us," he told a news conference. He did not give details on the amount being discussed but some officials sources have said it could be around $1 billion. Larayedh, who travelled to Doha last week, said Qatari officials had said they were "ready to boost investments in Tunisia." Last month, the International Monetary Fund said it had reached a $1.75 billion loan deal with Tunisia to ease the country's financial problems since a revolution that topped the former regime two years ago. The North African country is struggling with rising inflation, a big external deficit and an uncertain political outlook. The February assassination of opposition politician Chokri Belaid ignited the worst street violence since the revolution. Elections expected towards the end of this year will create fresh uncertainty. Larayedh said economic growth in the first quarter of this year was 2.7 percent. Last month, the Qatari government agreed to provide an additional $3 billion of aid to Egypt.
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