updated 1/6/2008 2:19:24 PM ET 2008-01-06T19:19:24

An Egyptian court in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria sentenced a police major to five years in prison and two policemen to one year for forcing a detainee to wear women's underwear and parading him before the public, judicial sources reported Sunday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media, said Maj. Yousri Ahmed Issa was convicted Saturday for ordering his men to force Ibrahim Abbas, the detainee, to wear women's underwear and walk on a major street.

The judicial official said the detainee was working at a car park in April 2007 when he asked the major to move his car to allow others to enter the lot. The officer considered the request to be an insult and arrested him. He then attempted to force Abbas to confess to a robbery.

The independent daily El-Badeel reported that the victim claimed he was beaten with batons inside the police station.

He was subsequently paraded up and down the street in women's underwear in effort to humiliate him and force him to confess to the crime.

Amid a rash of high profile accusations of brutality and corruption by the nation's police officers, the Ministry of Interior, which supervises security agencies, is increasingly investigating the allegations.

Most officers so far have been acquitted or released light sentences, but in recent months, there have been a slew of convictions.

In November, a police captain and two of his plainclothes informants were sentenced to seven years in prison for torturing a man to death. Three weeks earlier, two police officers received three years in prison for sodomizing a minibus driver after his arrest, in a high-profile case that shed new light on the widespread police brutality in Egypt.

Rights groups say torture, including sexual abuse, is routine in police stations and in the interrogation of prisoners, but the government denies it is systematic.

In September, an officer from State Security, Egypt's elite plainclothes service, was acquitted in a three-year investigation of torturing to death a political detainee.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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