Sunday, November 14, 2010

Alexandria police again tortures youth to death

Meet the late Ahmed Shaaban. This 19-year old student of tourism from Alexandria in Egypt is the second youth to have been tortured to death by the police of the Sidi Gabr police station in Alexandria in less than a year after Khaled Said was killed by police of the same station.
Ahmed Shaaban was reportedly killed at the station, but his body was then thrown into the Mahmoudia Lake near Alexandria, where it was found some days later. The offical report says that Ahmed committed suicide. His family and friends say that he was tortured to death.
For  more on this story go to Egyptian Chronicles of blogster Zeinobia. 

Update17/11:  Blogger Mohammed Abdelfattah, the man who broke the story, writes that the family of Ahmed, particularly Ahmed's uncle Ashraf Shaaban who took it upon hims;lf to handle the case,  has been under severe pressure. His uncle has been arrested and was later released. A lawyer Ahmad Nassar, who intended to file a complaint, was not able to do so because his family  was harassed. A planned protest in the neighbourhood was made impossible through the presence of a truck load of policemen. And Ahmed's friend Faraq, is still in custody in the Sidi Gabr policestationb. Since Faraq is the only eyewitness, his life may be in danger.  

Update II, 18/11: Amnesty International has called for a full investigation into claims that Ahmed Shaaban was tortured to death at a police station in Egypt. Amnesty has also called on the Egyptian authorities to guarantee the safety of Mr Shaaban's friend, Ahmed Farrag Labib, who is still in police custody.
Two policemen from the same force were charged earlier this year in connection with the death of another young man, 28-year-old Khaled Said. The officers are due to stand trial soon.
The family of Ahmed Shaaban says he went missing on 7 November while on his way home from a wedding with his friend. Witnesses told the family that the pair were stopped at a police checkpoint and arrested when they refused to be searched. But the police denied holding Mr Shaaban, telling his family that they had only detained Mr Labib on suspicion of stealing a mobile phone. Four days later, Mr Shaaban's corpse was recovered from a canal and returned to them covered in bruises to the head and body, which family members attribute to police torture and beating.

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