News / Africa

Egyptians Angry Over Report Exonerating Police in Businessman's Death

In a case that has outraged many in Egypt, a government investigation has concluded that a 28-year-old businessman who died earlier this month choked to death while trying to swallow a packet of drugs.  Human rights groups, witnesses and the victim's family insist he was beaten to death by plain-clothes police officers.

A crowd of hundreds of mostly young people chanted slogans against the Egyptian police, earlier this week, during a protest to denounce the death of a young man, whom they claim was beaten and killed by police.

The Egyptian general prosecutor's office reiterated the findings of an original autopsy, saying the victim choked to death while attempting to swallow a packet of illegal drugs.

Eyewitnesses and human rights groups say plain-clothes police officers beat 28-year-old Khaled Said to death after they dragged him out of an internet café in the port city of Alexandria.

Two family members say police beat Khaled Said to death and that they filed a misleading report about the cause of his death.

Friends of Said argue he provoked the ire of police in Alexandria after posting a video to the YouTube internet site that showed police officers appearing to distribute money and drugs claimed to have been seized after a drug bust, inside a police station.  Egyptian police deny the charges.

A Facebook website to honor Said reportedly received more than 65,000 signatures in less than a day to express condolences.  Photos on the site show Khaled's face scarred and bloodied with his lower jaw distended and missing its teeth.  His legs also appear to have extensive bruising.

Said's lawyer, Islam Abbaissi says the victim's body shows clear signs of torture and the government autopsy was outrageous.

He says he was surprised by the results of the autopsy because it was clear that the teeth of the victim were missing and that this could only have happened after being beaten.

Large demonstrations in Cairo and Alexandria in recent days were broken up by Egyptian police.  A woman told an Arab satellite TV channel that she saw Cairo police using batons to beat some demonstrators.

American University of Cairo politics and sociology teacher Said Sadek says Egypt's decades-old emergency laws have given police a sense of impunity.

"For 30 years, you have emergency laws and the government and the police got used to the idea of being brutal and getting away with it," said Sadek. "You do not have accountability.  Of course, there are some cases of torture that were transferred to the courts, but the general feeling in the country is that the police are beyond accountability, and [the case of Khaled Said] was so brazen it provoked public opinion, and people began to feel this could also happen to them or [their] loved ones."

Egypt's People's Assembly voted in May to extend the country's State of Emergency for another two years.  Egypt has been officially under a state of emergency since 1967, except for a brief period before the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid