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Viewing cable 09CAIRO243, BLOGGER POSTS GRAPHIC VIDEO OF ALLEGED POLICE SODOMY REF: A. 09 CAIRO 79 B. 07 CAIRO 3214 Classified By: ECPO Mincouns William R. Stewart for reason 1.4 (d).

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09CAIRO243 2009-02-10 15:03 2011-02-16 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXRO7427
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #0243 0411520
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 101520Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1609
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 000243 
 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR NEA/ELA AND DRL/NESCA 
NSC FOR PASCUAL AND KUCHTA-HELBLING 
TRIPOLI FOR GODFREY 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/10/2029 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM SOCI EG
SUBJECT: BLOGGER POSTS GRAPHIC VIDEO OF ALLEGED POLICE SODOMY REF: A. 09 CAIRO 79 B. 07 CAIRO 3214 Classified By: ECPO Mincouns William R. Stewart for reason 1.4 (d).
1.(U) On February 8, prominent blogger and human rights activist Wael Abbas posted a graphic video on his blog (misrdigital.blogspirit.com) depicting the sodomy of a bound, naked man with a bottle. Abbas' accompanying text notes that the video shows two police officers from the Ain Shams police station in Cairo sodomizing a detainee named Ahmed Abdel Fattah Ali. Abbas posted the first names and last initials of the two police officers, and another blogger asserted February 10 that their names are Bassem Ashraf and Mahmoud Sami. Abbas also posted a video of the same victim tied to prison bars.

2.(C) Abbas told us February 9 that he received the videos from a blogger friend named Samih Al-Arusi. Abbas said that Al-Arusi's wife, who is currently detained in the Ain Shams police station, somehow gained possession of the cell phone camera the police officers used to record the sodomy of Ali, and used bluetooth technology to send her husband the recording. According to Abbas, she was able to bribe police into allowing her to bring her cell phone into the prison, and used her cell phone camera to record the images of the victim tied to the prison bars, which she then sent to her husband. Abbas said that Al-Arusi's wife, a Libyan citizen, was detained by police on charges of check fraud and beaten in the Ain Shams police station. Abbas told us he hopes the police will not abuse Ms. Al-Arusi further in retaliation for sending her husband the recordings. Abbas said that since he posted the recordings he has received several calls from local media and human rights lawyers. Local press reported on the recordings February 10.

3.(C) We notified human rights lawyers of the recordings, and one of them, Nasser Amin of the Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary, told us he plans to coordinate with other NGOs to file a case against the police officers with the Public Prosecutor, Egypt's attorney general-equivalent. Secretary-General of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Hafez Abu Seada told us he believes the video is authentic, and that he thinks the officers could eventually be convicted, following the example of the officers convicted in the infamous El-Kebir case. (Per ref B, a court sentenced two police officers to three years in prison in November 2007 for assaulting and sodomizing bus driver Imad El-Kebir. The case gained notoriety after Wael Abbas posted a cell phone video recording of the sodomy on his blog. End note.) Abu Seada doubted that the El-Kebir convictions had much of an impact on police brutality, and he speculated that such police sodomies are a "daily" occurrence in Egypt. SCOBEY