Journalists recount ‘torture’ by army following Abbasseya clashes

El Badil news website has published the accounts of two reporters who it says were abducted and tortured by the army following Abbasseya clashes, in which a soldier died and almost 400 people were wounded.

Ahmed Ramadan and Islam Abul Ezz were arrested Friday in Abbasseya while covering the march by anti-military rulers to the Defense Ministry.

They said that they were referred to the military prosecution, which ordered their detention 15 days pending investigations, according to Khaled al-Balshy, the website's chief editor, who wrote their testimony.

On Friday, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said at least 18 journalists had been assaulted, injured or arrested while covering the clashes.

"We call on the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to identify the attackers and bring them to justice immediately, as well as to release journalists in custody," Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, said in a statement issued late on Friday.

The El Badil reporters said all other journalists detained were released earlier, and that they were only released Sunday.

According to the story, army and police officers dragged Abul Ezz and Ramadan on the ground.

They said the torture and ill treatment of detainees was supervised by Brigadier General Mamdouh Abul Kheir, a military police leader who they insulted them as soon as he learned they were reporters. They were then kicked and beaten by sticks.  

Abul Kheir is the officer who filmed last year on camera saluting ex-Interior Minister Habib al-Adly during his trial at the Police Academy.

The website published photos of Ramadan and Abul Ezz, who appeared to have serious injuries all over their bodies. Marks of injury are seen on their heads, faces and other parts of their bodies.

Abul Ezz said when he told one officer he needed to take medication, the officer insulted him again and told Abul Ezz that he wanted him to die.

The two journalists said they were tortured again at Tora prison at the hands of Major Ahmed al-Khouly, who ordered them to crawl on their stomachs with their hands on their backs while soldiers kicked them with their boots and beat them with sticks.

They said they were imprisoned in the ward allocated to murderers and alleged that police leaders ordered the other prisoners to mistreat them and keep food from them.

But they said they were received well by the other prisoners, who greeted them and hailed them as revolutionaries.

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