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Egypt rights group calls for investigation into activist's death

Recent death of activist Mohamed El-Gendy prompts Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights to call for investigations into alleged police torture

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Feb 2013
Mohamed El-Gendy
Slain activist Mohamed El-Gendy (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The Cairo-based Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR) has called for an immediate investigation into the death of Mohamed El-Gendy, allegedly tortured to death by police following a protest in January.

El-Gendy, 28, disappeared late last month, only to reappear in hospital over a week later having sustained injuries to which he eventually succumbed.

Police were subsequently accused of torturing him to death at a Central Security camp after acquaintances of the slain man alleged that the activist had disappeared during clashes with security forces near Cairo's Tahrir Square.

The EOHR cited witness testimony, which is already being investigated by the Egyptian prosecutor-general's office, suggesting El-Gendy had been tortured to death.

"When the Egyptian Ministry of Justice stated that El-Gendy had died in a car accident, eyewitness Sherif El-Beheiri, a former Muslim Brotherhood member, stated that the victim had died under torture," the EOHR asserted.

Justice and interior ministry officials stated earlier this week that El-Gendy had died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

Lawyer Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, who was present at El-Beheiri's testimony, told Ahram Online that he planned to call for investigations into Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki for the latter's assertion that a coroner's report had attributed El-Gendy's death to a car accident.

"Torturing people into giving confessions violates international standards of human rights," the EOHR stated. "Responsibility for this incident should be assumed not only by the Central Security Forces and the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, but also by the Egyptian Government and the [Muslim Brotherhood's] Freedom and Justice Party."

The organisation went on to call on Egypt's prosecutor-general to launch an immediate investigation into cases of police torture. "Perpetrators must be held accountable," the EOHR statement concluded.

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