As New York Times critics wring their hands over the depiction of “enhanced interrogation” in Zero Dark Thirty, the upcoming film about the raid that eliminated bin Laden, the newspaper glosses over the very real torture taking place at the hands of President Obama’s allies in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, whom the Times continues to describe as “moderate politicians.”
According to journalist Mohamad Jarehi at the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm, who spent three hours in the facilities with other journalists, the Muslim Brotherhood operates a network of torture chambers designed to violently intimidate President Mohammed Morsi’s opposition. This report comes a week after word surfaced that the Brotherhood is paying thugs to sexually assault women and beat men protesting in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
In an English translation at the Middle Eastern media website Al-Monitor, Jarehi described iron barriers and the government’s Central Security Forces (CSF) standing guard in front of the Brotherhood’s central torture facility in the suburb of Heliopolis:
There are brigades and police officers in military uniforms, as well as others in civilian clothes from al-Nozha police station, who oversee the beatings, whippings and torture. Fifteen others from the group, distinguished by their strong bodies, are supervised by three bearded and well-dressed men who decide who will be in the chamber and who may leave, even if the person is a member of the Brotherhood.
The process begins once a demonstrator, or suspected demonstrator, is arrested:
Then, the group members trade off punching, kicking and beating him with a stick on the face and all over his body. They tear off his clothes and take him to the nearest secondary torture chamber…
Before the interrogation process starts, they search him, seize his funds, cellphones or ID, all the while punching and slapping his face in order to get him to confess to being a thug and working for money… As long as this person denies the allegations, they beat him and insult his parents.
After a while, the detainee is transported from the secondary torture chamber to the central one. On his way, the beatings and insults continue. Every time the prisoner encounters a member of the Brotherhood, that person gets in his share of the insults and beatings.
Once ten people are arrested, they are taken to the nearby al-Nozha police station, and another group of prisoners is brought in. Jarehi said he observed numerous detainees whose health condition was “very bad.” Some were bleeding all over their bodies, extremely exhausted, and unable to speak. Few received any medical assistance during their ordeal.
Egyptian political activist Cynthia Farahat reports that the Brotherhood kidnapped former Egyptian Ambassador to Venezuela Yehyia Najm, who was protesting against Morsi. In Ms. Farahat’s translation of videos on her website, Najm describes his ordeal:
They attacked me and started violently beating me, there were tens of them, they stood with their shoes on my head and my chest and kept jumping crushing my chest like they were jumping on a trampoline, while calling me an agent of the U.S. and an enemy of Allah; all we want is freedom and rights, constitutional rights.
They almost killed me, until one of them sympathized with me and asked them to have mercy, but they continued and they sprayed pesticides in my eyes. While this was going on, an ambulance came that wanted to take me and the MB prohibited them… they dragged me 100 meters in the street to the fence of the presidential palace with my hands and feet tied as I bled, there were others tied and bleeding with stab wounds, including a pharmacist who was lying next to me, with a stab wound across his chest.
They kept throwing bodies at us; it was like a Nazi concentration camp, until there were 49 of us, with our hands and legs tied like hostages. A doctor came at dawn … just to put antiseptic on some of the people’s wounds, but others needed sutures and blood transfusion, and the doctor kept begging them to send us to a hospital and they refused. There was a 14-year-old child with stab wounds, there was another man whom they attempted to mutilate his hand.
The doctor left, and came another, I asked him to help me, but the doctor said: “No, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood ordered us not to nurse you.” Another doctor came, she was a woman, she kept kicking me and telling me: “You Zionist, you agent,” and the usual accusations, as she took pictures of our faces while threatening us until a guard came out of the palace and asked her to treat us with some humanity… yet they continued to insult, photograph and intimidate us.
“We were abducted and tortured by the Muslim Brotherhood, and this is my testimony before God,” said Najm. As the Muslim Brotherhood interrogators continued to abuse him and others, he said, they randomly abducted more people passing by in the street. Finally he was taken to a prison cell in the Central Security Forces prison, “where I spent the night on the floor with a blanket on Thursday, until we were released at dawn on Saturday.”
This is the same Muslim Brotherhood that Obama helped rise to power, and to which he is now sending tanks and fighter jets. Why aren’t all the leftists who denounced the waterboarding of a few terrorists under the Bush administration now directing their outrage at Obama for supporting the violently oppressive Brotherhood’s torture of protesters?
Upon leaving the Brotherhood’s torture chambers, Mohamad Jarehi and the other journalists found blood flowing on the palace sidewalk. Someone had tried to cover it up with soil. “However,” Jarehi wrote, “no one will be able to clean the image of this blood from the memory of Egyptians for hundreds of years.”
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