Egypt’s newly appointed interior minister Mahmoud Tawfik has ordered on Saturday that the death of a suspect inside a Cairo police station be referred to the ministry’s monitoring and inspection department for investigation.
The suspect was being held at Cairo’s Hadayek El-Qobba police station on suspicion of theft.
According to several media outlets, members of the defendant’s family gathered in front of the police station on Friday to protest over what they believe was the torture to death of their family member.
However, other media outlets have cited security sources as saying that no such gathering took place.
Minister Tawfik has also ordered that the issue be referred to the general prosecution for investigation.
Torture is outlawed by Egypt's 2014 constitution, with Article 52 stating that "torture in all its forms is a crime without a statute of limitations."
In recent years, several reported torture cases have been referred to the prosecution for investigation, with some reaching trial.
Human rights activists have charged that torture in police stations and some prisons remains widespread, whereas Egypt’s interior ministry asserts that any misconduct by its officers will not be tolerated, stressing that such incidents of torture are "isolated."
Last May, two police officers were acquitted in a retrial for the torturing to death a lawyer at a Cairo police station in 2015, nearly three years after they received five-year jail terms.