French citizen dies in police custody in Egypt
Qasr el-Nil police station
CAIRO, AP

France’s foreign ministry says a Frenchman died while in police custody in the Egyptian capital.

The ministry said Tuesday it was seeking details about the death of the man who Egyptian authorities say was killed by cellmates while in police custody in Cairo.

Egyptian authorities close to the investigation said prosecutors began questioning the Frenchman’s cellmates on Sunday after his corpse revealed signs of bodily harm. Officials have not said if security officers at the downtown Qasr el-Nil police station where the Frenchman died are also being investigated.

The Frenchman was drunk at the time of his arrest on the streets of the upscale Cairo neighborhood of Zamalek, the Egyptian officials said. He was detained after a military-imposed nighttime curfew, according to the authorities.

The curfew has been in effect across much of Egypt for more than a month following a deadly spike in violence after security forces raided two protest camps organized by supporters of former President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted on July 3.

Security officials in Egypt have declined to comment on the Frenchman’s arrest and death. Officials close to the investigation say it is not clear what started the alleged brawl in prison. After his beating, he was transferred to a hospital where he later died. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media about the ongoing investigation.

Ministry spokesman Vincent Floreani said French authorities were seeking details from Egyptian officials about the death. The victim, whom officials did not identify, had been residing in Egypt. Egyptian officials did not disclose details on whether the man had a residency or proper papers on him at the time of his arrest.

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