For Immediate Release
AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302
Amnesty International Urges Egypt Government to Investigate Brutal Killing of Young Man
WASHINGTON - Amnesty International is
calling for an immediate, full and independent investigation into the brutal
killing of a 28-year-old Egyptian man, Khaled Mohammed Said, while in the
hands of Egyptian security forces in the city of Alexandria on Sunday,
Shocking pictures of Khaled Mohammed Said's
body, whose face is almost unrecognizable from the beating he received,
at the hands of the Egyptian police and in public according to reports,
has been posted on the internet.
“The horrific photographs are shocking evidence
of the abuses taking place in Egypt which are in stark contrast to the
image of the country depicted today by Egyptian officials to members of
the UN Human Rights Council and their reluctant recognition of some minor
wrongdoings,” said Amnesty International.
“These pictures are a rare, first-hand glimpse
of the routine use of brutal force by the Egyptian security forces, who
expect to operate in a climate of impunity, with no questions asked.”
Although, the exact circumstances surrounding
the killing are still being pieced together, what is known is that Khaled
Mohammed Said was severely beaten by two plain-clothes police officers
in an internet cafe. He was reportedly dragged out of the café and the
beating continued until he died.
According to a lawyer from El-Nadim Center
for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence,
Khaled Mohammed Said's relatives were
informed of his death, but were prevented from seeing his body immediately.
The police took them to Sidi Gaber police station, where they were told
that Khaled Mohammed Said had swallowed a bag of narcotics when the police
had approached him, and had died from an overdose.
The family filed a complaint with the prosecutor
on Monday, June 7, but was surprised to find that the police had already
filed a report claiming Khaled Mohammed Said had died from a drug overdose.
The prosecutor has since ordered an autopsy and the investigation is continuing.
Amnesty International calls for an investigation
to be carried out in line with international standards, including those
within the United Nations Principles on Effective Prevention and Investigation
of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions.
Under the umbrella of Egypt's 29-year-old
state of emergency, abuses by the security forces are routine and rarely
punished, and those responsible have only been brought to justice on a
very few occasions. The state of emergency was extended for another two
years earlier this month, despite repeated calls from states and international
human rights groups during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for it to
be lifted as soon as possible.
“The Egyptian authorities must respond immediately
to this brutal beating and killing in the most robust way. If they do not
take action, it will yet again send a clear signal that these abuses may
continue and guarantee the perpetrators get away with it,” said Amnesty
International. “The Egyptian authorities must reign in their security
forces. The Egyptian authorities should know that the eyes of the world
are increasingly on them, and the pictures online mean that they cannot
avoid conducting a thorough investigation with another whitewash.”
We are people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. Our purpose is to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. We investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world.