The family of Khaled Said, the young man who died of police torture in 2010, is demanding a compensation of EGP 5bn from the Ministry of Interior after two police conscripts were convicted of torturing Said to death.
“We expect the process to take a while,” Said’s mother Laila Marzouk told Daily News Egypt Tuesday. She added that the family filed a lawsuit against the two convicted policemen and former interior minister Habib Al-Adly.
Marzouk said if they win the case, the money is going to be used in charitable projects to honour Said. The first court session will be held on 3 June.
According to the family’s lawyer Mahmoud Afify, the battle is not about the money, which will be donated to charity anyway. “But let’s see how much a human life is worth for the Egyptian government,” he told state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram Monday.
Two police conscripts, Mahmoud Salah and Awad Ismail, received a final prison sentence of 10 years, after being charged with illegally and unjustifiably arresting Said in a coffee shop in Alexandria, and beating him to death.
When Said died, the Ministry of Interior falsely claimed that he had been in possession of drugs and swallowed a bag of cannabis to hide it from the police, which he then choked on and died.
The incident and the ministry’s later revealed cover-up were among the major triggers for the 25 January Revolution, which a group of activists called for through a solidarity Facebook page entitled “We are all Khaled Said”.
Towards the end of 2010, popular outrage at the police had increased as more torture reports and videos showing physical and verbal assaults on citizens were released. The 25 January date of the 2011 uprising was selected because it coincides with Police Day.