Hundreds demonstrate in Alexandria protesting alleged police torture of Egyptian student (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Hundreds demonstrated at the Court Complex in the coastal city of Alexandria on Monday protesting alleged police torture of a student.
A police officer was reported to have arrested a student named Emad El-Din Ahmed several days earlier during his participation in an Alexandria University demonstration. Ahmed was allegedly subjected to torture following his arrest.
Several of Ahmed’s fellow students filed a complaint against the police officer who arrested him, accusing the officer of torturing their colleague during detention. The prosecution has already heard seven eyewitness accounts that testify that Ahmed was severely beaten while he was detained at the police station.
"We will not accept another Khaled Said," chanted the protesters, referring to the young man who was tortured to death at the hands of the police in Alexandria in 2010 and later turned into a revolutionary icon.
Popular outrage was triggered across the country when morgue pictures of Said’s disfigured face and accounts of his confrontation with police were circulated through social media sites after his death on 6 June, 2010.
Several demonstrations were held in Alexandria and Cairo demanding the prosecution of the two policemen responsible for Said's death. They later received prison sentences of seven years.
Ahmed's friend Mahmoud Gaber told the Ahram Arabic website that the police chief in charge of the police stations of the Bab Sharqi district, where Ahmed was arrested and tortured, was the same officer who headed the Sidi Gaber district police stations when Khaled Said was killed in the latter district.
He added that former interior minister Mansour El-Eissawy had suspended this same police officer after the revolution as he was also accused later of torturing a man named Emad El-Kabir. He did not reveal the name of the alleged officer though.
"This makes us worried that torture and violations will recur," stated Gaber.
Gaber also clarified that Ahmed was arrested during a demonstration organised by Alexandria University students days earlier demanding the implementation of an education ministry decision to transfer students from outside Alexandria to universities in their hometowns.
The January 25 Revolution was fueled in part by outrage against police brutality. The police suffered a strong blow when confronted with mass protests, and their absence from the streets was widely noted in the aftermath of the uprising. Only lately have the police started to regain their presence on the streets of Egypt.