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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
S. RES. 367

Urging the Government of Egypt to provide a timely and open appeal for 
Shaiboub William Arsel and to complete an independent investigation of 
                     police brutality in Al-Kosheh.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

            October 5 (legislative day, September 22), 2000

Mr. Mack submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the 
                     Committee on Foreign Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
Urging the Government of Egypt to provide a timely and open appeal for 
Shaiboub William Arsel and to complete an independent investigation of 
                     police brutality in Al-Kosheh.

Whereas on Friday August 14, 1998, two Coptic Christians, Samir Oweida Hakim and 
        Karam Tamer Arsal, were murdered in Al-Kosheh, Egypt;
Whereas, according to a report from the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights 
        that was translated by the United States Embassy in Cairo, up to 1,200 
        Coptic Christians, including women and children, were subsequently 
        detained and interrogated without sufficient evidence;
Whereas it is reported that the police tortured the detained Coptic Christians 
        over a period of days and even weeks and that the detainees suffered 
        abuses that included beatings, administration of electric shock to all 
        parts of the body, including sensitive areas, and being bound in painful 
        positions for hours at a time;
Whereas Egypt is a party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, 
        Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
Whereas the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading 
        Treatment or Punishment prohibits torture to obtain information and 
        confessions such as the torture that reportedly took place in Al-Kosheh;
Whereas Egypt is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political 
        Rights;
Whereas Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 
        states that ``(1) Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, 
        conscience, and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to 
        adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either 
        individually or in community with others and in public or in private, to 
        manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and 
        teaching. (2) No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his 
        freedom to have or adopt a religion or belief of his choice.'';
Whereas some of the 1,200 detained Coptic Christians reported that the police 
        chief made derogatory remarks about their religion and stated that the 
        detainees were being targeted because of their religious beliefs;
Whereas the summary report of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights states 
        that, as a result of the massive roundup and torture of the Coptic 
        Christian community, a prosecution proceeded using confessions obtained 
        under duress;
Whereas, according to the report, as translated by the United States Embassy in 
        Cairo, one of the confessors ``was detained for 18 days, beaten 
        constantly, was not allowed food or water, and prevented from relieving 
        himself'' and ``confessed only when they threatened to rape his two 
        sisters'' who ``were brought to the police station, tortured and 
        threatened with rape in front of him'', and the detainee identified 
        Shaiboub William Arsel as the murderer;
Whereas Shaiboub William Arsel, a Coptic Christian, was charged with the murders 
        of Samir Oweida Hakim and Karam Tamer Arsal, was found guilty, and was 
        sentenced on June 5, 2000, to 15 years of hard labor;
Whereas, according to the Associated Press story describing Shaiboub William 
        Arsel's trial, ``[t]he court based its guilty verdict on evidence and 
        testimony provided by police, said the officials on condition of 
        anonymity'' and ``gave no further details'';
Whereas no known international observers were present at Shaiboub William 
        Arsel's trial;
Whereas, on January 2, 2000, a mob of nearly 3,000 Muslims killed 21 Christians 
        and destroyed and looted dozens of Christian homes and businesses in the 
        village of Al-Kosheh; and
Whereas local Egyptian security forces failed to stop the massacre of Coptic 
        Christians, and according to Coptic leader Pope Shenouda III, 
        ``responsibility falls first on security forces...the problem lies among 
        the authorities in the area where the incident occurred'': Now, 
        therefore, be it
    Resolved,

SECTION 1. SENSE OF THE SENATE ON THE APPEAL OF SHAIBOUB WILLIAM ARSEL 
              AND THE EGYPTIAN GOVERNMENT'S INVESTIGATION OF POLICE 
              BRUTALITY IN AL-KOSHEH.

    The Senate hereby urges the President and the Secretary of State to 
encourage officials of the Government of Egypt to--
            (1) allow for a timely and open appeal for Shaiboub William 
        Arsel that includes international observers; and
            (2) complete an independent investigation of the police 
        brutality in Al-Kosheh.

SEC. 2. TRANSMITTAL OF RESOLUTION.

    The Secretary of the Senate shall transmit a copy of this 
resolution to the President and the Secretary of State, with the 
request that the President or the Secretary further transmit such copy 
to the Government of Egypt.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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