Egypt: Protesters sack State Security offices
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Trudging through dungeon-like cells and mounds of shredded documents, hundreds of Egyptians on Saturday surged into the Cairo headquarters of the dreaded State Security apparatus for an unprecedented look inside buildings where political prisoners endured horrific torture.
Some former prisoners sobbed as they saw their old cells, recalling electric shocks and severe beatings. Families held passport photos of missing relatives and were desperate to explore the dank chambers for clues to their fates.
Dismantling State Security, the shadowy and all-powerful intelligence force, was a key demand of protesters who forced the resignation last month of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. When the military-led interim authority failed to dissolve the agency immediately, protesters in Cairo and the port city of Alexandria descended on State Security offices this weekend to seize files they hoped would cement Mubarak's legacy of prisoner abuse and disappearances.
Some activists also were looking for evidence related to Egypt's role in the U.S. government's longtime practice of extraordinary rendition, the transfer of American-held detainees to foreign soil where harsher interrogation techniques could be used.
Sources: McClatchy Newspapers
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