General attorney of Luxor prosecutions Ahmed Abdel Rahman released on Thursday 24 people who were detained outside a police station for “illegally protesting” the claimed torture of Talaat Shabeeb, who died in custody.
The death of 47-year-old Shabeeb, following claims of his torture, sparked riots in the southern Luxor province.
A video showing signs of torture on the body of deceased Shabeeb was released by his relatives and has been circulating on social media.
His family believes he was beaten to death while in custody.
Assistant to the interior minister for media and public relations, Major General Abu Bakr Abdel Karim said that the incident has been referred to the general prosecution to investigate the reason behind Shabeeb’s death.
"Citizens who were protesting against the incident saw that an official report has been compiled and referred to the general prosecution. An official from the forensic authority [has been tasked with] determining the cause of death, so they were reassured," says Abdel Karim.
The official also stressed that if any police officer was found to be at fault, they will be held accountable.
Shabeeb was detained late Tuesday in Al-Awameya district in Luxor over drug possession.
Shabeeb’s family received news from the Luxor International Hospital that he passed away due to "sudden health crisis.”
Torture is forbidden by Egypt's 2014 constitution. Article 52 states that "torture in all its forms is a crime without a statute of limitations."
However, torture by security forces has been frequently reported over the years and there have been several recent allegations of deaths from torture, some of which are being formally investigated.