Protesters to hold funeral march for Essam Atta from morgue to Tahrir

Ahram Online , Friday 28 Oct 2011

Family of torture victim plan on holding funeral prayers in Tahrir Square as hundreds gather outside the morgue holding his body

Political activists are gearing up to begin a march from the Zeinhom Morgue, where the body of Essam Atta, who died Thursday night from injuries sustained after being tortured by prison guards, is laying.

The march which will head to Tahrir Square, will commence as soon as medical examiners finish their forensic report detailing how Atta died. According to activist Malek Mustafa, it was Atta’s family who requested that the funeral march head to Tahrir Square where they intend to pray on his body.

Mustafa added that about 800 protesters have turned up at the morgue to support Atta’s family and put pressure on the staff to finish compiling the report. The protesters held a one-minute silence for Atta and chanted against the use of torture and the human rights abuses by the Ministry of Interior.

Malek added that several independent doctors tried to attend the autopsy but were denied access to the body. However, the head of the Department of Forensic Medicine, Ishan Kameel Georgy, told Ahram Online, that the law prohibits anyone from attending an autopsy without prior official authorisation from the general prosecution.

Atta was tortured to death in Cairo’s Tora Prison on Thursday by prison guards, punishing him for smuggling a mobile phone SIM card into his cell, who pushed hoses into his mouth and anus. He was arrested on 25 February in relation to the illegal occupation of an apartment and, after being tried by a military court, sentenced to two years in Tora Prison.

Atta's death has caused a public outcry and accusations that police brutality and the use of torture, rampant during the Mubarak era, has not abated since the revolution.

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