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Egyptian tortured to death in police station

El Warraq police station in Giza [Youtube]
El Warraq police station in Giza [Youtube]

A detainee being held at a police station in Giza governorate was beaten to death on Tuesday, reports Masrawy.

The Interior Ministry has denied Karim Al-Khawaja, 45, died at the hands of police and instead say he had a heart attack.

Sources told Masrawy that Al-Khawaja was serving a one-year prison sentence for drug charges but was appealing his sentence.

Egypt has a long history of police brutality. In June 2010 two police officers beat Khaled Saeed to death in a stairwell in Alexandria. The pictures of his disfigured corpse circulated widely on social media and ignited anger at the culture of police intimidation and torture, which led to the 2011 Egyptian uprising.

After his death protesters raised banners which read: “My name is Khaled Said, I was tortured and then left dead in the street. End police brutality it is time for accountability.”

Authorities claimed Khaled choked on a bag of drugs.

Nine years after Khaled’s death, and one revolution later, police brutality, the use of deadly force, and the denial continues.

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In 2018 Mohamed Abdel Hakim, known as Afroto, was beaten and tortured to death inside Mokattam police station after suffering from internal bleeding and a ruptured spleen. Protesters attempted to storm the police station where he was murdered, police responded by firing shots to disperse the crowd.

A forensic report earlier tried to claim that Hakim had died of a drug overdose and that the body showed no signs of torture.

In 2016 demonstrators took to the streets and gathered outside police headquarters after a taxi driver was shot in the head by a plain clothed police officer after a fight on the streets of the capital. The Egyptian Interior Ministry initially said he had fired his weapon by mistake.

That same year hundreds of doctors called for the prosecution of police officers after two policemen assaulted two doctors at Matariya Hospital after they refused to falsify medical reports and tend to their non-urgent injuries ahead of the other patients.

Since the July 2013 coup both police impunity and police brutality have escalated. Rights organisations including Human Rights Watch have documented how police officers, along with the Interior Ministry, have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people who go on to be systematically tortured.

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