File Photo: Wayley Police Station in Abbasiya near central Cairo (Photo: Ahram)
Egyptian prosecutors detained Friday eight policeman pending investigations into allegations they beat a citizen to death late Thursday night.
The men questioned include a detective and seven low ranking police officers.
The interior ministry released a statement on Friday morning saying 61-year-old man, Hussein Farghaly, died in a hospital he was transferred to after complaining of "sickness" during questioning at a police station in a case involving landlord-tenant dispute.
The interior ministry's statement said Wayley Police Station in Abbasiya received a complaint that a landlord, named Hussein Farghaly, was illegally detaining one of his tenants in a dispute over rent.
The statement said officers attempted to negotiate with the landlord to release the tenant. However, according to interior ministry statement, Farghaly, along with family members, attacked the police forces and a scuffle followed.
Police say they succeeded in freeing the tenant who suffered minor injuries and was sent to a hospital for treatment.
The ministry added that the scuffle resulted in some damages to a police vehicle and Farghaly's injury.
During questioning at the station, Farghaly complained of nausea and was sent to a nearby hospital where he died, the ministry said.
On Friday, hundreds of family and neighbours attended a funeral prayers for Farghaly at Nasser El-Haq mosque in Abbasiya and afterwards chanted against police brutality.
The family of the deceased said they would not hold a ritual wake for Farghaly until "justice is served."
The interior ministry has been in hot water in recent months over several cases of deaths of citizens in police custody and reports of torture in police stations.
The interior ministry say such incidents of police brutality are “isolated” cases and has vowed to bring officers accused of wrong doing to justice.
The ministry has recently drafted legislation that aims to monitor the performance of police officers and punish rogue elements. The legislation have been referred to parliament but have not yet been voted on.
In recents months also, Egyptian courts have also sentenced more than a dozen police officer to jail after they were accused in various cases of beating citizens to deaths in custody.