Egypt prison guards allegedly torture 24-year-old Essam Atta to death

Ahram Online, Mostafa Ali, Friday 28 Oct 2011

A young man sentenced to two years in prison by a military court last February is allegedly sodomised to death by prison officials after they found a SIM card on him, family and activists up in arms

Essam Ali
Image of Essam Ali's corpse (facebook)

A 24-year-old man died tonight at Qasr El-Eini hospital in Cairo after suffering a severe drop in blood pressure and heart failure after allegedly being tortured by prison officials.

Essam Ali Atta Ali was serving a two-year prison sentence in the maximum security ward at Tora Prison after being prosecuted in a military court on 25 February in relation to the illegal occupation of an apartment.

According to the victim's cellmates, prison officials sought to punish Ali after catching him smuggling a mobile SIM card into the ward.

Prison officers reportedly pushed hoses into Ali's mouth and anus, causing severe bleeding.

Ali's brother told media that he saw his brother's corpse at the hospital and it exhibited signs of serious injuries.

According to several media reports, an officer from Tora Prison left Ali at the hospital as he lay in a critical condition. Attending physicians immediately noticed liquid secretions emanating from Ali's mouth and suspected foul play.

In the late hours of Thursday, MD Aida Seif El-Dawla of El-Nadeem Centre for the rehabilitation of victims of torture, broke the news of Ali's death to the public through Facebook and Twitter. She called on activist lawyers to support a traumatised family in their quest for answers.

Ali's mother told media that her son was a victim of police brutality and that she will not rest until his killers are brought to justice.

Meanwhile, activists and supporters of Ali's family wasted no time in setting up a Facebook page, "We are all Essam Atta", demanding justice for the 24-year-old whom they describe as Egypt's latest martyr.

"We are all Khaled Said", the Facebook page which played a key role in organising in the build up to the uprising against ousted president Mubarak, called on doctors at the hospital to come forward and tell the public what they saw as they examined Essam Ali Atta Ali.

News of Ali's death at the hands of the police comes only a couple of days after judges in Alexandria sentenced two policemen to seven years in prison for killing 28-year-old Khaled Said, a verdict that many in Egypt said was too little and too late.

Short link: