Sunday, November 25, 2007

Indy Torture Film Festival: Cairo--NOT

Check out this AFP report. (I love it: the "Golden Whip" award!)

CAIRO - Egyptian bloggers, long at the forefront of exposing rights abuses, are planning an online festival of torture videos to run alongside the 31st Cairo Film Festival, local media reported today.

The parallel festival is the idea of a blogger named Walid, the Egyptian Mail reported, and will feature "controversial acts of torture allegedly committed by the security authorities". [I've been unable to track down the original article.]

Prizes, including a "Golden Whip", will be awarded to the best entrants.

Egypt's blogosphere has exposed numerous incidents of police torture, including that of minibus driver Imad al-Kabir who was shown being sodomised with a stick in widely distributed video footage shot on a police mobile phone.

Two policemen were jailed for three years earlier this month for that crime in a rare case of security forces members being sentenced for abusing detainees.

Rights groups say the use of torture is widespread in Egyptian jails and police stations, while the interior ministry says that those who carry out torture are always punished.

The Cairo Film Festival runs from November 27 to December 7.

UPDATE: One of those who first released torture videos denies any such "fringe" festival will take place. Khusara!

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