CAIRO, Egypt, (AP) – An Egyptian court sentenced a police major to five years in prison and two policemen to one year for forcing a male detainee to wear women’s underwear and parade up and down a busy street, a judicial source said Sunday.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media, said Maj. Yousri Ahmed Issa was convicted Saturday in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria for ordering his men to force the detainee to wear the underwear and walk on a major street.
It was not immediately clear what specific charges the officers were convicted of.
Amid a rash of high-profile accusations of brutality and corruption by the nation’s police officers, the Ministry of Interior is increasingly investigating abuse allegations. Many officers so far have been acquitted or received light sentences and subsequent pardons, but in recent months, there have been a slew of convictions.
The judicial official said the detainee was working at a car park in April 2007 when he asked Issa to move his car to allow others to enter the lot. The officer considered the request to be an insult and arrested him. He then is said to have attempted to force the detainee to confess to a robbery.
The independent daily El-Badeel reported that the victim claimed he was beaten with batons inside the police station.
In November, a police captain and two of his plainclothes informants were sentenced to seven years in prison for torturing a man to death. Three weeks earlier, two police officers received three years in prison for sodomizing a minibus driver with a stick after his arrest, in a high-profile case that focused public attention on police brutality in Egypt.
Rights groups say torture, including sexual abuse, is routine in police stations and in the interrogation of prisoners, but the government denies it is systematic.