The Right To Torture

Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif contributes an essay to The Guardian in which she asks: “Egypt tortures for the US, so why not on its own account?”

The story of Maajid Nawaz, Ian Nisbet and Reza Pankhurst, the three British Muslims who travelled to Egypt with their families, their detention there, their trial and their release now, almost four years later, encapsulates several elements in the “east-west” or “war on terror” story. Media coverage in the UK has focused on the men’s Britishness and whether the British government did enough to help them. As usual, events outside the western hemisphere are presented as though in a void. So here’s a pencilling in of the local background.

Soueif reviews several cases of human rights abuses and torture, and concludes “Human rights cannot be regional. The rule of law cannot be selective.”


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