Life sentence

Omar Mohammed Ali

August 10, 2016

Details about the case:

  • Omar was arrested by undercover police officers as he was leaving a restaurant in downtown Cairo with two friends (Esraa al-Taweel and Sohaib Saad), who were also arrested.
  • Omar and his friends went missing; the ministry of interior denied knowing anything of their whereabouts.
  • Five weeks later, the Egyptian military released a video entitled “arresting the biggest terrorist cell threatening national security”. Omar Ali and Sohaib Saad were among the defendants in the video.
  • Omar later spoke of how he was tortured into confession: “They made me sit on a chair, tied my hands behind my back, and hung them to an iron bar. Then they removed the chair which made my whole body hang in the air. He beat me with a stick and a cable while I was in this position. After that they gave electric shocks to my genitals. They hit me on my back with a burning piece of cloth, which caused me burns, and then they kept giving me electric shocks. I started screaming more…They started sitting on my hands and legs and continued with the electric shocks on my genitals for about an hour.” After a few days: “They put me in a microbus and drove me for two minutes to a building where I was handed two papers to memorise. I was told to stand in front of the camera and say what was written as my ‘confession’.”
  • Omar’s video ‘confession’ was used as evidence against him during his subsequent trial, despite the military prosecutor and an intelligence officer telling him they knew he was innocent – one had even said: “I know you are falsely accused”.
  • Omar is charged with belonging to an “advanced operations” cell, trained to target police and military personnel.
  • On May 29, 2016, the military court sentenced Omar to life.



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