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Egypt's top prosecutor orders investigation into 'torture' of Sinai militant

Three days after the kidnapping of seven Egyptian security personnel in Sinai, Talaat Ibrahim Abdullah orders an investigation into charges implicating the interior minister and head of Torah Prison in torture

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Sunday 19 May 2013
Sinai
Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim implicated for responsibility of torture of Islamist militant in 2011 Sinai attacks. Riot police walk in front of the Interior Ministry headquarters in Cairo(Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's prosecutor-general Talaat Ibrahim Abdullah has ordered an immediate investigation into the reported torture of a Bedouin Islamist militant who suffered blindness during his detention for crimes committed in June 2011.

Abdullah on Sunday ordered the referral of a complaint issued by Salafist party lawyer Mohamed Khattab on behalf of the brother of the detained prisoner, Hani Abdullah Hemdan, to the Cairo Appeals Court to open the investigation.

The complaint is against Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim and the head of Torah Prison, Ashraf Khafaga. The complaint, No. 7639/2013, claims Khafaga is responsible for the continuous beating of victim until he lost his sight in April in Torah Prison.  

In the complaint presented to Ibrahim, Khattab called for the necessary legal procedures to be carried out and someone from the public prosecution to be delegated to visit the prison and the victim and carry out medical procedures.

The victim is currently undergoing a hunger strike in protest at his alleged torture.  

The complaint comes against the backdrop of the recent kidnapping of seven Egyptian security personnel in the Sinai Peninsula Thursday, whose whereabouts are still unknown. The seven abductees are a conscript of the armed forces and six police personnel, the state news agency MENA reported.

An unnamed security source told the Turkish Anadolu news agency that the reported kidnappers are trying to force authorities to release affiliated men in jail on criminal charges. The source added that the kidnappers accused the Egyptian security forces of torturing one of the detained men.     

Militants allegedly belonging to Tawhid wal-Jihad (Monotheism and Jihad) were convicted of killing five security officers and one civilian during attacks in June/July 2011 on an Al-Arish city police station and a North Sinai branch of the Bank of Alexandria. Twenty-five individuals were charged over attacks.

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