Oakland Ross takes over as the Toronto Star's Middle East bureau chief with closing coverage of the trial of Mohammed el-Attar, convicted and sentanced to 15 years in an Egyptian jail for allegedly spying for Israel. The Egyptian Canadian is said to have made a confession while in prison, but now says it was enduced under torture.
Ross delves into Egypt's terrible track record on prisoner abuses and exposes the notorious Mubarek regime:
"But torture is a troubling subject in this sprawling North African land, ruled since 1981 by Hosni Mubarak under an apparently never-ending state of emergency, a draconian regimen that grants the government wide-ranging powers of arrest and detention and whose terms were dramatically fortified only last month, when 34 constitutional amendments were overwhelmingly approved by the national parliament."
"By one estimate, some 10,000 Egyptians are currently being held behind bars without ever having been charged with an offence, never mind being tried."