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.
Contact: Suzanne Trimel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-633-4150
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.