A young man was threatened and tortured by three officers in a 6th of October police station three years ago. The ordeal began in 2007 and only recently ended in 2009 when public prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud referred the three officers to criminal court on charges of assault and cruelty. The details took place as follows:
The marks of torture clearly show on his face as Shady Maged Sa’d Zaghloul, 25, sits down to talk. In his hands, he holds a small bag containing the documents for his case, which was under investigation for two years. "On October 20, 2007, I was a student in the third year of the Faculty of Law and I was returning home to 6th of October City. I was stopped by a police roadblock on the route, and Captain Sheriff Samir, the first defendant in the case, asked for my ID. After I gave it to him, he asked me to go with him to the October police station. When I refused, him and two other police officers began beating and assaulting me. After that, they forcibly took me to the police station," said the young man.
"There, I was surprised to find the officer writing a report saying that I was arrested for drug possession. I objected and screamed at him, and asked him to stop, but he ordered the two police assistants to beat me and put me in jail for referral to the prosecution in the morning" he continued.
"I went to the prosecution and during the hearing, the prosecutor saw the marks on my face and body from the beating. He asked me who did this, and I told him all the details and eventually asked to be examined by a forensic doctor. He renewed my imprisonment for 15 days. The police officers knew I had filed charges against them during the investigation and at the police department. At the time, Captain Ahmed Samir, the second defendant, threatened me and told me to drop the case. When I refused, he tortured me for 10 days by assaulting me with a stick and water cannons all over my body," the young man recalled.
"I spent ten days in agony, being tortured at the hands of the officers from morning until I fainted. Then, they placed me back in my cell and the prisoners would revive me with water. The journey of torture would continue the next day. After that, I was referred to the forensic medicine department for a second time. I slowly lumbered to the office due to the impacts the torture had on my body. Doctors said they found marks of torture on my body and injuries that could be the result of torture," he recounted.
"I was then taken to the public prosecutor, who decided to set me free and summoned the officers to hear my testimony. I returned home after 15 days of torture and beatings at the hands of the officer. I saw my wife and father and I told them all the details. Then we decided to leave the city and go to another region, because the officer was continuously threatening us with trumped up charges of drug dealing against my father and prostitution against my wife," he said.
"In December 2007, I received two threats from Officer Ahmed Samir by telephone. He was trying to compel me to drop the case. I headed to October City with my wife and my three-month old daughter Nour. When the hearing ended, three assistant officers forced us to go with them to the police station, where we found the three officers Hazim el-Beltagi, Captain Ahmed Samir and Sherif Samir. I was detained with my wife and daughter in a room at the station, where I was beaten in front of my wife and daughter, to pressure me to drop the case."
"On the fifth day, my wife and I agreed to drop the case and I informed the officers of my decision. They told me that my wife and daughter were going to stay there until I returned. I went to the prosecution and the public prosecutor was surprised by my decision. He inquired as to my reason, but I did not tell him. After finishing the procedures, I went back to the police station to pick up my wife and daughter, and we returned home," he recalled.
"I lived in misery for an entire month. Whenever I recalled how my wife had seen me being beaten by the officer, I felt humiliated. My father gave one of the local lawyers the details of the case, and we put together a petition for presentation to the public prosecutor in April 2008. We requested that investigations be re-launched. In response, Public Prosecutor Abdel Megid Mahmoud ordered the investigation to proceed and the three officers were summoned for their testimonies. They were referred to criminal court and the trial date was set for 7 December, 2009."
"I cannot wait to take my wife and daughter to the court hearings and to see the three officers behind bars. I cannot wait for the day when a verdict that soothes my anger will be passed."
Translated from the Arabic Edition.