Mohamed Soltan, a DC-based activist and US citizen, has tried for years to blame former Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi for torture.
The Biden government has reiterated its stance that former Egyptian Prime Minister and International Monetary Fund representative Hazem el-Beblawi is protected by diplomatic immunity and therefore cannot be sued in federal court by a U.S. citizen attempting to el To blame Beblawi for torture.
The U.S. Department of Justice made a formal statement late Thursday, according to the Washington Post.
In it, the lawyers of the judiciary asked a federal court to dismiss the case of Mohamed Soltan against el-Beblawi.
Soltan, a 33-year-old US citizen and human rights attorney, claims he was shot, beaten and repeatedly tortured in a Cairo prison. Soltan has been held behind bars for nearly two years and says his torture was carried out with permission from el-Beblawi.
Even so, lawyers from the Department of Justice’s civil division say the courts cannot file a legal complaint after a person’s diplomatic status is confirmed by the government.
“Once the State Department establishes a person’s diplomatic status, the courts are not allowed to look past the certification to conduct their own analysis,” the lawyers wrote.
Former Vice President and current President Joe Biden on the Campaign Trail in 2019. Image via Flickr / User: Gage Skidmore. (CCA-BY-2.0).
Even so, government attorneys did not comment on whether Soltan’s allegations are valid or whether Soltan can file another lawsuit after el-Beblawi resigned from the IMF and left the United States.
However, some American officials have expressed disappointment that el-Beblawi may not be held responsible for torturing a US citizen.
Senator Patrick J. Leahy, a Vermont Democrat who chairs the Senate Funds Committee, said the Justice Department’s finding was “disappointing.”
“The Egyptian government could have waived his immunity but opted for Mr Beblawi’s impunity and also arrested Mr Soltan’s relatives in Egypt to force him to drop his lawsuit,” Senator Leahy said in a per E -Mailed statement to the Washington Post. “This is what you would expect from a criminal company, not a government that receives billions of dollars in US aid.”
For his part, Soltan has condemned the United States government for “submitting to diplomatic pressure and legal technical issues.”
“This attempt to isolate a torturer from accountability in US courts is a blank check for the Egyptian dictator and is in complete contradiction to the stated obligations of the Biden government,” Soltan said in a statement.
Soltan says that most of all he wants el-Beblawi to see his face and ask him why he did what he did.
“I want him to see my face,” said Soltan. “I’m sure he knew who I was, but I was just a name – I want him to look me in the eyes when I ask him why, why he took on the role he played, torture ordered the attempted extrajudicial murder and what a moral justification he has for being able to live with it. “
Earlier, Eric L. Lewis, one of Soltan’s attorneys, said one of the main goals of the lawsuit was to show the world what the Egyptian government is doing in the dark.
“The Egyptian regime relies on secrecy and things done in a torture cell under cover of darkness,” said Lewis. “This is about solving all of these problems in sunlight.”
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