Clashes erupted between civilians and riot police stationed around the Imbaba police station on Tuesday, after a suspect was killed during a police chase on Sunday. His family said he was killed by the police.
The Ministry of Interior said that the suspect, Mohamed Samir, was chased and arrested by two police officers last Sunday, accusing him of dealing narcotics. As he was escorted to the police station in a tuktuk, he escaped. Two days later, he was found dead in the Nile, the ministry added.
The ministry asserted that he was not detained. It added that civilians gathered in front of the police station to demand the burial permit.
Meanwhile, the prosecution is investigating the case, after the family of Samir, 24, accused the officers who led the arrest of killing their relative. The prosecution ordered the Forensic Medicine Department to investigate the case.
Eyewitnesses to the clashes told Daily News Egypt that security forces refused media presence during the protest.
Karim Sobhy, a reporter covering the events on Tuesday evening in Imbaba, was assaulted by the police, and then arrested along with scores of relatives and residents from the neighbourhood.
Sobhy told Daily News Egypt that a non-commissioned police officer had taken Samir from the local market, where he sold pigeons, to the police station. Samir’s family repeatedly asked the police about his whereabouts, until they were told on Tuesday that his body was in the mortuary.
The body in the mortuary had a bullet trace in it and showed signs of drowning, according to Sobhy. An angry group of relatives and neighbours headed to the police station in Imbaba leading to the abovementioned incidents. Head of the Giza Investigation Bureau Khaled Shalaby told local media outlets that the victim had drowned and that his body did not show signs of assault.
Shalaby was singled out by Italian media, as a suspect in the case of Giulio Regeni’s death, who disappeared last January.
Shalaby is part of the investigations team of Regeni’s case─a step described by Italian media as “disturbing”, due to his involvement in previous torture cases and his “fabrication of evidence”.
He was the first official to state that Regeni was killed in a car accident, before the police argued that he had been kidnapped.
The general was accused of torturing a man to death in Alexandria’s Al-Montazah police station in 2000. He was one of the officers who pressured the family of victim Sayyed Belal, who was killed in 2011, to withdraw the police report that accused the police of killing Belal.
After the 25 January Revolution, which defied police brutality, Shalaby was promoted and transferred to Giza Security Directorate─an administrative step that was also taken for many former state security officers. Many of the controversial officers were reported to have been transferred to different police departments countrywide.
The Imbaba police station, like several security headquarters in the country, was dubbed by civilians as a “slaughterhouse”, hinting at police brutality by its officers and personnel. It was one of the few police stations that were not burned in the 25 January Revolution.
In addition to numerous killings inside the police station since 2011, the most notorious violation came in August 2014, when a police officer raped a woman with learning disabilities who was detained in the station.
Khaled Said, considered by many one of the sparks of the 25 January Revolution, was tortured and beaten to death by two police officers in Alexandria in 2010.
Following the All Saints Church bombing of New Year’s Eve 2011, police tortured and beat to death Salafi youth Sayyed Belal.
After the uprising and during the transitional period under the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, torture became a prominent issue. The many clashes with military personnel that marked the frequent protests and sit-ins of that period were often followed by allegations of torture.
In October 2011, Essam Atta died in prison after being subjected to what rights groups say were violent torture sessions. Atta was imprisoned following a military trial in February of that year.