The United Nations has postponed a conference on torture which was earlier slated to take place in Cairo at the beginning of September after a surge of criticism from human rights activists who have documented the Egyptian government’s extensive use of torture against political rivals.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have published several reports detailing how Egyptian authorities use torture including rape and electric shocks against political rivals.
At the beginning of August dual US-Egyptian detainee Khaled Hassan, who was tortured and raped in an Egyptian prison, attempted to commit suicide after his brother was denied a family visit permit.
UN spokesperson Rupert Colville has said the decision was reached after
growing unease in some parts of the NGO community with the choice of location.
Head of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council, Maha Azzam wrote to the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights – Michelle Bachelet Jeria describing the conference as an “absolute kafkaesque horror” and admonished her to publicly condemn it.
UN special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer was set to speak alongside members of the Egyptian government who have overseen severe human rights abuses in the country.