Amnesty International Demands Full Investigation of Egyptian Man's Death Allegedly by Torture in Police Custody

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302,
Laura Spann: lspann@aiusa.org

 

Amnesty International Demands Full Investigation of Egyptian Man's Death Allegedly by Torture in Police Custody

Human Rights Organizations Says Family Found Body Covered in Bruises After Man was Detained

LONDON - Egyptian authorities must investigate
without delay allegations that a young man was tortured to death at a police
station in Alexandria, and guarantee the safety of another young man still
in custody there, Amnesty International said today.

The family of Ahmed Shaaban, 19, alleged
that he died after being tortured and abused by police officers at Sidi
Gaber police station on November 7, and that his body was then dumped into
a canal near his neighborhood to give the impression that he committed
suicide.

“These disturbing allegations of enforced
disappearance and death in custody, and possibly unlawful killing by police,
must be immediately and fully investigated by an independent body,” said
Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and
North Africa.

Shaaban went missing, allegedly in police
detention, on November 7.  His corpse was returned to his family on
November 11, his body and head covered in bruises, which family members
attribute to police torture and beating. His
friend, Ahmed Farrag Labib
is reportedly in custody and being denied access to his family and lawyers.

Shaaban’s family learned on November
7 that he was arrested at a police check point on his way back from a wedding,
and taken to Sidi Gaber police station together with Labib.

When his family went to the police station
to look for Shaaban, police told them he was not detained there, but admitted
they detained Labib for the theft of a mobile phone.

The day after his disappearance,  Shaaban’s
family received an anonymous phone call informing them that he was in detention
and being tortured at Sidi Gaber police station.

On November 11, the family was informed
that Shaaban's body had been found and was at the morgue.  Police
reportedly told the family not to hold a funeral but to bury the body immediately.
Members of the security forces are said to have accompanied the family
at the burial and afterwards have been stationed near the family’s home.

“The Egyptian authorities must ensure
that Labib is protected against possible torture or other mistreatment,
and not intimidated by those detaining him," said Smart. "His
evidence about what occurred on November 7 is likely to be crucial in uncovering
the truth."

In a separate case, two police officers
from Sidi Gaber station are currently being tried in connection with the
death of Khaled Said, a young man who is alleged to have been dragged out
of an internet café by plainclothes police and beaten to death in public
on the sidewalk.

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