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Thursday, 12 December 2019

Tensions in Suez rise on back of new police torture case

Police in Suez accused of torturing protesters after video evidence catches fire on the internet

Zeinab El Gundy, Thursday 14 Jul 2011
Suez city
Protesters in Suez city (Photo by Mai Shaheen)
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Suez woke up this morning to a new torture case involving protesters and police officers. Videos surfaced on the internet from the early hours showing a protester with marks of torture on his body and describing his ordeal and humiliation by police officers in the station last night. The video went viral, adding to the anger felt towards Egyptian police force and prompting activists to speak about an escalation of protests. 

According to Mohamed Mahmoud, a member of the Suez Youth Bloc, last night two protesters on a hunger strike fell ill and were taken by six other protesters to hospital. While filling out a report about the medical condition of the hunger strikers, the other protesters were insulted by a police officer at the hospital. Later they found an officer claiming to be from the military intelligence who asked them to go to the police station to talk. When they arrived at the police station, the protesters found themselves detained and insulted before being beaten and tortured.

The protesters were only released from the station after a crowd began to gather and protest in front of it. The military intelligence officer was later identified as a police officer from the station, according to Mahmoud. 

Mahmoud told Ahram Online that the Bloc called the governor to report the matter in the early hours of the morning as, with the city engulfed by tension, matters things could escalate on the back of such an incident. 

"No less than 50 protesters decided to stage a sit-in in front of the police station, including [the poet Mohamed] El-Tamsah who continued his hunger strike insisting that he will not end it except when he meets Field Marshal Tantawy," said Mahmoud.

The governor of Suez, along with ministry of interior officials, apologised to El-Tamsah and other protesters outside the Suez police station in front of the public, according to Mahmoud. The protesters have filled a report of the incident and ended the sit-in at the police station. 

The incident has came at a critical time for Suez as a sit-in continues at the El-Arbaeen Square, demanding the swift trying of the officers accused of killing protesters in the first days of the revolution. 

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