POSTPONED The Arab Spring: Have the torturers been stopped?

Talk November 1, 2011 7:00 PM

The brutal torture and murder of Khaled Said by Egyptian police in June 2010 and the Facebook page We Are All Khaled Said served as a catalyst to the uprising that eventually ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February this year.

The message the Egyptian people were sending was that they were no longer prepared to live under a regime that used torture as a weapon against dissent.

Nine months after the toppling of Mubarak we will be looking at the extent to which the military regime has continued to use torture against the Egyptian people and their continuing struggle against it.

In the light of recent revelations about Britain’s collusion with Libya over the torture of Colonel Gaddafi’s opponents,  a panel of experts will be discussing the role of the West in not only upholding but making use of torturous regimes and to what extent opposition to torture was part of the Arab Spring movement.

We will also be looking ahead to discuss issues or reconciliation and the need to hold perpetrators to account. Can lessons be learned from those Latin American countries that have had to deal with the aftermath of regimes that have employed the use of torture against their people?


Zahraa Kassem, sister of Khaled Said will be joining us via skype;

Brita Sydhoff, IRCT (International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims) Secretary-General;

Clive Baldwin, senior legal advisor for Human Rights Watch working across the Middle East and North Africa region;

Carla Ferstman, director of REDRESS, an organisation which helps torture survivors seek justice. She is also a member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Sub Group on Torture Prevention. She has worked with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on legal reform and capacity building in post-genocide Rwanda, with Amnesty International’s International Secretariat as a legal researcher on trials in Central Africa and as Executive Legal Advisor to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Commission for Real Property Claims of Displaced Persons and Refugees (CRPC). 

Additional panelists to be confirmed.