The Cairo Criminal Court postponed Saturday to 12 September the trial session of the “Kareem Hamdy” case where two officers are charged with torturing lawyer Hamdy to death in the Matariya police station last February.
The former head of the Matariya police station and the forensic doctor who witnessed the autopsy of Hamdy were expected to testify at court but were absent. The judge fined them both with EGP 1000.
Hamdy was arrested on 22 February, allegedly on charges of belonging to an outlawed group and possession of weapons, and reportedly died two days later.
The forensics report said Hamdy arrived from the Matariya hospital, where he received defibrillation shocks, but he was unresponsive. He had injuries to the neck, chest, hands, legs, and knees. The report cited bruises and cuts on the victim’s body, adding that considerable damage to the area of the genitals was found.
Officers Omar Mahmoud and Mohamed Al-Anwar are facing charges of beating and torturing Hamdy to death inside the Matariya police station.
The Homeland Security apparatus is the successor of the controversial State Security apparatus, which was accused of mass torture and severe human rights violations in the era of former president Hosni Mubarak.
On 1 March, lawyers protested in Cairo and organised a mass rally to demand retribution for Hamdy’s death, mostly chanting against the Ministry of Interior.
Since the beginning of the year, reports of deaths in custody have been on the rise. Torture has been a controversial subject in Egypt, where the police are accused of torturing detainees and suspects. In the majority of cases, the police announce that “cause of death is failure in the blood circulation of the body”.