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Egypt's interior ministry denies torturing North Sinai conscript

Interior ministry statement says a North Sinai police conscript was not tortured to death by his ranking officer, but died of exhaustion during routine training

Ahram Online, Saturday 6 Sep 2014
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Egypt's interior ministry has denied allegations that a conscript was tortured to death in a security training camp in North Sinai.

News circulated on several Egyptian media outlets Thursday that conscript Ahmed Khalil was tortured to death by a police officer in the North Sinai Karim Helal security training camp.

Reports cited his fellow conscripts as claiming that Khalil was severly beaten by the officer after a brief disagreement during training. He was said to have lost consciousness and died.

However, in a statement published on its official Facebook page, the interior ministry said that Khalil suffered "sudden exhaustion in training and died during resuscitation efforts."

Meanwhile, prosecutors are looking into the incident and detained the officer in question for four days pending investigations.

Major General Abd El-Fattah Othman, the interior minister's deputy for public relations, told privately-owned Al-Hayat TV Friday night that this was a "precautionary measure."

He described the relationship between conscripts and their officers as one of mutual "cordiality" and asserted that all procedures relating to the incident will be "transparent."

Police and military security training camps in Egypt are known for their harsh conditions.

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