Cairo demands swift probe into alleged torture to death of Egyptian in German custody

Ahram Online , Wednesday 27 Jul 2016

The man's family claim he had been tortured to death in prison by German police officers

Egypt's foreign ministry said it is carrying out an inquiry in the death of an Egyptian national ''while in custody'' in Germany and has demanded a swift probe by German authorities into the reported incident.

The Egyptian embassy in Berlin has contacted officials in the German federal government requesting "clarification"  into reports by Egyptian media and the man's family suggesting he was tortured to death by German police last June, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The death of Mohammed Abdel Fattah, 22, was first reported by the man’s father during an interview with an Egyptian TV channel.

The father claimed that his son had been tortured to death by German police officers while in custody in the western German city of Essen, adding that Egyptian authorities were not informed of the situation.

Abdel Fattah's father said his son carried an Italian residency,  and that he was informed of his son's arrest and death by friends in Germany.  

The foreign ministry summoned Abdel Fattah's family on Tuesday to examine the deceased's official papers and most recent correspondence to take the necessary legal measures.

The embassy in Berlin had sent an official memorandum to the German foreign ministry to seek information about the circumstance syrrounding the death of the Egyptian national,  the ministry said.

The embassy has also inquired from the German side why Cairo had not been informed of the incident.

The Egyptian consulate in Frankfurt said that local German authorities told Egyptian officials that Abdel Fattah was previously arrested,  and had opened an official probe into his death. 

The German officials  also vowed to provide a formal written report to Cairo on their findings, the ministry said in the statement.

*Correction:  A previous version of this report indicated that Mohamed Abdel Fattah held Italian nationality. The deceased is believed to have only held an Italian residency. 

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