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In Egypt, diary of 'torture' captures police brutality

Hundreds of allegations have been logged into Egypt’s “torture diary,” a chronicle of claimed police brutality compiled by the Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, an independent victims advocacy group in Cairo.

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An Egyptian man is dragged off by plain-clothed policemen at a demonstration protesting against police brutality, in downtown Cairo, Egypt, June 13. Hundreds of allegations of police brutality in Egypt have been submitted to a special 'torture diary,' run by a victims advocacy group.

Ben Curtis/AP Photo

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On any given day in Egypt, a U.S. ally with a much-criticized human rights record, citizens who cross the nation’s security forces may be subject to brutal violence, according to a leading human rights organization here.

Complaints arrive daily: An 18-year-old man was beaten in a police station and thrown off a third floor balcony. Another man was punched and flogged. Earlier, a family was dragged to the police station, where the father was beaten and the women were threatened with rape.

These and hundreds more allegations have been logged into Egypt’s “torture diary,” a chronicle of claimed transgressions compiled by the Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, an independent victims advocacy group.

Drawing on news reports, a hot line and attorneys for those who say they were on the receiving end of state-sponsored violence, the center notes alleged incidents each day, then releases a full report at the end of each month

According to local human rights groups, which work with Nadeem to compile the accounts, police brutality in the Arab world's most populous nation has become the norm rather than the exception.

The 18-year-old man, Mohamed Salah, a minivan driver, reportedly was assaulted and tortured July 4 by two plainclothes police agents in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura. He was eventually thrown off the third floor balcony. He is currently in a coma.

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