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Egypt releases officers accused of torturing lawyer to death - Daily News Egypt

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Egypt releases officers accused of torturing lawyer to death

Kareem Hamdy reportedly died as a result of torture last month


Kareem Hamdy was arrested on 22 February, allegedly on charges of belonging to an outlawed group and possession of weapons, and reportedly died two days after. (Photo Public Domain)
Kareem Hamdy was arrested on 22 February, allegedly on charges of belonging to an outlawed group and possession of weapons, and reportedly died two days after.
(Photo Public Domain)

A Cairo Court released on bail Saturday two Homeland Security officers charged with torturing a lawyer named Kareem Hamdy to death in Matariya police station.

The prosecution appealed against the court’s decision and an official trial for the defendants is yet to take place.

Hamdy was arrested on 22 February, allegedly on charges of belonging to an outlawed group and possession of weapons, and reportedly died two days after.

Preliminary investigations showed that after he was interrogated by officers in the police station, he collapsed and died, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported. The initial forensic report said that Hamdy “suffered broken ribs and a severe internal bleeding in the brain, which confirms he was beaten”.

The Legal Office of the Salafi Front published graphic photos of Hamdy following the autopsy. The pictures clearly show signs of beatings on the chest and the back, as well as injuries to the left eye.

The officers, a lieutenant colonel and a major, were held pending investigations, but were later released on bail.

The Ministry of Interior previously told Daily News Egypt that Hamdy’s occurred due to “a circulatory collapse”.

Hamdy’s death was the first of three cases to take place in February, where civilians in Matariya police station are reported to have died from torture.

The case caused outrage at the Lawyers’ Syndicate, where lawyers staged a protest denouncing what they called “crimes by the police”.

Egyptian police stations have been reportedly notorious with human rights violations.

The El-Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence recently released a report on cases of torture and abuse in Egyptian prison and detention facilities during February.

It includes accounts from across Egypt, such as the deaths of seven by police live ammunition in Beheira, as well as: general physical abuse; detention without charge; sexual abuse; and electrocution, all of which are inflicted on detainees of both sexes.

Last week, ten human rights groups strongly condemned the “torture and collective” punishment in Egypt’s prisons and demanded investigations on violations in Abu Zaabal prison.

The violations targeted political prisoners as a number of undersigned groups received reports on the torture and the degrading treatment of detainees in Liman II of the Abu Zaabal prison complex.

Among the prisoners mentioned is journalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada, who has been in detention for 450 days, and is protesting his ill treatment and imprisonment. He is charged with illegally protesting, setting fire to the Faculty of Commerce building in Al-Azhar University and assaulting security officers.

Several political groups have been reporting torture and abuse against affiliated members in different Egyptian prisons.

The Legal Office of the Salafi Front reported that, in the Abu Zaabal prison, the situation of the prisoners is worsening as the number of detainees in one cell reaches 35 individuals.

Mohamed Belal, a leader figure in the front, said that some prisoners “don’t see sunlight, as well as suffer from dermatological disorders and nocturnal enuresis”.

The Interior Ministry’s Human Rights Unit was contacted for comment, but could not be reached.

 

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