Police officer, 7 policemen detained over ‘torturing’ elderly man to death

CAIRO: A police officer and seven policemen were detained Friday pending investigations over torturing an elderly man to death in Cairo’s al-Waili police station, according to a statement from the West Cairo Prosecution.

The prosecution accused the police personnel of “beating an elderly man to death,” and ordered to release the victim’s relatives from custody, Youm7 reported.

On Wednesday morning, a police officer and 7 policemen has raided Hussein Fraghali Hassan’s house and arrested him, his wife and son before escorting them to al-Waili police station where Hassan has been brutally beaten, Hassan’s lawyer Ihab Mohamed said in a complaint to the General Prosecution.

Hassan, who suffered severe injuries, was pronounced dead at the Dar Al-Chifae hospital, the lawyer added, noting that the accused police officer is a relative of Ayman Goda, the owner of a plot of land rented out by the victim.

The elderly man has rented the piece of the land in 1971 from Amin Malek who recently sold the land to Goda, the complaint says.

“The new owner has previously sent a group of thugs to forcedly kick Hassan out of the land before the end of contract,” said the lawyer.

Hassan’s brother and sister-in-law have filed a complaint against the police personnel; however, they were held in the custody for three days to drop their case, the lawyer continued, noting that the prosecution has asked to conduct an autopsy on the dead body for a medical report.

The Ministry of Interior said in a statement Friday that the accused police personnel have received a call from Goda who said that his sister was kept by force in the victim’s house over a dispute on a piece of land.
The ministry’s statement added that when the police forces arrived at the house, they heard a voice calling for help, noting that the police forces tried to negotiate with Hassan and his family, but clashes took place and he was arrested. The statement also said that Hassan was released and sent to the hospital to receive the medical treatment.

Dozens of police personnel have been tried over charges of torturing civilians and prisoners to death inside police stations since 25 January uprising which erupted after two police officers tortured to death Alexandria’s civilian Khaled Said, whose death in late 2010 fueled the revolution.

On March 28, the Alexandria Criminal Court commuted a 15-year term to three years in jail for a former police officer in the State Security Service charged of torturing a detainee to death. In Upper Egypt’s Luxor, clashes erupted between local residents and security forces in November 2015 outside a police station where a man was allegedly tortured to death few hours after his arrest.

In April 2015, a 63-year-old lawyer died in Mataryia police station in Cairo; his colleagues said that he had been beaten to death inside the station after being arrested in a protest. Another lawyer, 26, was tortured to death in same police station. In Delta’s Beheira, a detainee was allegedly tortured to death in Rasheed Police Station.

In January, the Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture reported 137 deaths of prisoners inside places of detention during 2015, 39 of which were allegedly due to torture. The government has ordered to shut down the center. Torture-related accusations inside police stations have been regularly denied by authorities at the Interior Ministry.

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