Rights organization accuses police of torturing prisoner to death

The Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence has accused Tora prison guards of torturing a young man to death.

Essam Ali Atta, 23, was tortured by prison guards after they discovered him smuggling a mobile phone SIM card into his cell, read a statement on the Nadeem Center's Facebook page Friday. After guards discovered the SIM card, “Atta was subjected to brutal torture, with guards shoving one hose into his mouth and another into his anus, which led to his death. He was transferred on Wednesday evening to the Qasr al-Aini Hospital without his family being informed,” the statement continued.

A military court had sentenced Atta to two years in jail on 25 February, the statement said.

"The victim was transferred by officer Peter Ibrahim from the prison to the poison ward at Qasr al-Aini Hospital, where he died after an hour. The doctors noted that Atta was foaming at the mouth. The initial medical report attributed Atta's death to a sharp drop in blood pressure and a heart attack. The body is scheduled to be transferred on Friday morning to Zenhom morgue, where the prosecutor will examine it and take any necessary action," the statement continued.

A claim was filed at the Old Cairo police station over the incident.

The "We are all Khaled Saeed" Facebook page published an image of Atta's dead body.

Attorney Malek Adly told Al-Masry Al-Youm he learned of the incident from Mona Saif, one of the activist members of the "No to Military Trials" group. After hearing that he headed to Qasr al-Aini Hospital, where he witnessed "water coming out of orifices on the victim's body."

"I asked the doctor who received him [about his injuries], and she said all his bodily functions were not working when he arrived so they couldn't revive him," he said.

"I asked her if the death was due to pushing a hose into his mouth and anus, as some of his prison mates claimed. She replied that only an autopsy can prove the claim. Yet it might not be able to prove a hose was shoved into his mouth, because [doctors] tried to revive him by inserting a laryngeal tube [into his mouth] to help him breathe."

Adly said the sheriff of Old Cairo police station told him that officer Ibrahim filed a police report claiming Atta's death was due to Atta being poisoned, causing him to vomit blood and blood to stop circulating in his body.

Atta's mother told Adly that Atta called her from inside the prison on Wednesday and told her that an officer named Nour tortured him by shoving water hoses into his mouth and anus to punish him for smuggling in a SIM card.

Adly went on: "Atta's prison mates contacted his father Thursday,and told him that his son's torture was repeated again on Thursday. According to Atta's prison mates, after [the second torture] they were surprised to find Atta vomiting blood, after which he fell to the ground unconscious.”

Atta's prison mates fear they will be subjected to "severe punishment” for telling Atta's father about what happened, Adly said.

Allegations of police torture have spurred waves of protests, particularly in the lead-up to the 25 January revolution, which erupted partly as a response to what human rights watchdogs consider widespread violations by security forces in Egypt.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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