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Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Egypt refers policemen to court over torturing civilian to death

Two policemen from the National Security Agency are charged with torturing a lawyer to death at Matariya police station

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Wednesday 8 Apr 2015
Police stand guard as an army vehicle approaches as they prepare for more possible protests in the eastern suburb of Mataryia, Cairo, November 28, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt’s top prosecutor on Wednesday referred two police officers to criminal court on charges of torturing a detainee to death.

Lawyer Karim Hamdy, who was arrested on charges of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and involvement in anti-government violence, sustained no injuries when prosecutors first interrogated him, a statement from the general prosecutor’s office said.

On 24 February, however, Hamdy was reported dead in a police hospital in the Cairo district of Matariya, with severe wounds.

Investigations showed that two police officers tortured Hamdy while in detention at Matariya police station to force him to confess to his alleged crimes, causing severe injuries which led to his death, the statement added.

A forensic report said Hamdy sustained fractures to his ribs and suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.

In February, the general prosecution imposed a gag order on the case.

Matariya, a working-class district in north-eastern Cairo, is a regular site for protests by supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Allegations of torture in detention cells and during interrogations have prevailed in jails and police stations since the era of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

The heavy-handedness and brutality of police was one of the main causes that sparked the revolution against Mubarak and his regime in 2011.

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