London, UK, March 4th – At a press conference, Ian Nisbet and Maajid Nawaz – 2 members of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, the non-violent Islamic political party, who have just returned from captivity in Egypt – spoke of their four year ordeal at the hands of the brutal Egyptian dictatorship which detained them for expressing their political views peacefully.
Government to government agreements against torture
Ian Nisbet said: "In prison, some of us were with a Swedish resident (Dr Ahmed Ajiza) who was brutally tortured despite the agreement against torture that exists between the Swedish and Egyptian government ? proof that such agreements are not worth the paper they are signed on. Yet we hear that Tony Blair seeks such agreements with the brutal Egyptian dictatorship!"
Maajid Nawaz said: "They forced us to sit on the floor for four continuous days, prohibiting us from sleeping and if any one of us fell asleep they would be beaten and forced to wake up again. On the second day, we began to hear the sounds of electricity and the screams of men crying and screaming for mercy from people who have none. And they began to electrocute people to such an extent that really you would wish you were dead; you would wish you were dead rather than live through that experience."
Ian Nisbet said, "We experienced, witnessed and met people who were tortured in the most grotesque and obscene ways for belonging to peaceful opposition parties; some of them had their genitalia electrocuted, and some were put in solitary confinement in the dark with no human contact for 6 years."
Tony Blair's relationship with the Egyptian dictatorship
Ian Nisbet said: "imagine our feelings when we heard that Tony Blair was holidaying in the same country where a few miles away British citizens were being tortured and held without evidence"
Maajid Nawaz said he felt a "total betrayal" when he discovered Tony Blair had taken several holidays in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh while they were locked up. He said: "I felt that I was treated as a second-class citizen."
The press conference was also addressed Majid Nawaz's wife and Stephen Jakobi, the Founder of Fair Trials Abroad, and the men?s family lawyer.
Journalists from CNN, Associated Press, BBC Online, BBC Foreign Affairs, Al-Jazeera International, Meridian TV, Islam Channel, The Independent, The Times and several other media outlets attended the press conference.
Notes to Editors:
The men will be undertaking various interviews and public engagements to highlight their case and the plight of the many still detained in the jails of the brutal Egyptian regime.