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The Israel Method? Actually That’s a Euphemism.

What do all these French pundits calling for “Israeli Methods” against terrorism really want? Reading between the lines, Sylvain Cypel in Orient XXI sees nostalgia for the good old days of the savage violence of the colonial era.

The July 14 attack in Nice that took the lives of 86 people and injured another 434 naturally raises questions about preventing such appalling events.

Torture’s Victory

The local and international press reported this week that Egypt’s military regime was closing Nadim, a prominent center in Cairo that treats victims of torture. Nadim was one of the last lights flickering in the sea of darkness that Egypt under Sisi has become; the history of the center’s creation, the nature of its work, and the personalities of its founders all ordained its closure.

Magda Adly is not the type to be easily intimidated.

Then They Came for the Apostates

A torn family snapshot from the horrific and many-sided civil war that is convulsing Syria. Released in a prisoner exchange last week, Nadia Abdel Karim Stif was once an important civil servant, proud mother of a son and daughter. A Sunni Muslim, she had married a man who was a member of one of the country’s minority Shi’ite sects. For that, she paid a savage price when Islamist militants conquered her home city of Idlib last year.

From the minute she was detained, they applied every page in the catalog of torture to her body.

The Murder Factories of Egypt

Egypt has filled its prisons with some 40,000 people since the 2013 coup, the vast majority of them young activists of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood subjected to torture and mistreatment. And so once again the country is turning out a new generation of violent radicals. In this illuminating history of the links between the country’s prisons and violent extremism, the complex history of the Sinai based ISIS affiliate that weeks ago blew up an airliner full of Russian tourists, murdering more than 200 people:

The present wave of arrests and mistreatment of detainees in today’s Egypt is nothing new for the country’s Islamists.

Home, Defeated, a General Finds Unwanted Welcome

Deported from his refuge in the United States like a common criminal, handcuffed and loaded onto a plane, the Salvadoran general and onetime chief torturer Vides Casanova returns to the country he fled–to face, for a brief moment at least, his victims.

The last time the surgeon Juan Romagoza saw General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova’s face was at a month-long trial in 2002 in West Palm Beach, Florida, at the end of which the general was ordered to pay $54 million in damages for allowing the torture of Juan and other Salvadorans.

In Brazil’s Favelas, Militarized Police Impose a Savage Order

Military police patrol in Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro. Photo CC: Rodrigo Lobo

In the aftermath of the brutal torture and murder of a suspect by a special police unit, Brasil de Fato interviews Margarida Pressburger, a UN special rapporteur with half a century of human rights work in Brazil. The fundamental problem, she says, is the militarization of crowd control and policing in Brazil’s slums.

The cause of death was electric shocks and asphyxiation with a plastic bag.