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Police officer prosecuted for torture to death of detainee

Nader Shukry

09 Dec 2016 7:18 pm

A Cairo police officer, Karim Magdy who was accused of torturing a detainee to death at al-Ameeriya police station, has been caught and charged with torture.

The prosecution ordered his arrest, together with nine policemen, once the after-death official report was out on Wednesday 7 December.

The report proved the detainee, 54-year- old Magdy Makeen, had died as a result of the torture inflicted on him.

The torture and death of Makeen in Ameeriya police station sent shock and anger waves through Egypt. Makeen, a Copt, earned his living selling fish on his horse cart.

His cousin, Yusri Attiya, told Watani’s Rehab Gamal that the family was informed of his death by Zaitoun Hospital on Monday 14 November at 8am. “We rushed to the hospital where we found his body covered with a sheet and kept under strict security. They got a coffin from a nearby mosque and put the body inside and moved him to the morgue.”

Mr Attiya said that once the body was uncovered at the morgue, it was very obvious Makeen had been brutally tortured before he died. His body was full of bruises.

Family version, police version

The family got to know the details from two men who had been with Makeen the day before. They said they were with Makeen as he drove his horse cart. He

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accidentally hit a police car that was passing by. The police officer in the car,

Captain Karim Magdy, shouted obscenities at Makeen who retaliated by shouting

back insults. The verbal fight escalated, Makeen drove away to escape the police,

but they caught him and took him and the two other men who were with him to the

police station of al-Ameeriya.

“How did you know these details,” Watani asked Mr Attiya, “if the two men are

still detained by the police? Were you allowed to see them?” Mr Attiya said they

got their information through the lawyer who also said the two men had been

cruelly abused by the police. Makeen died after two hours of brutal torture, they

said.

The police story goes that the three men on the horse cart were selling drugs and

the police was chasing them. The police car hit the horse cart during the chase and

Makeen lost his life. The police said they found 2000 tablets of narcotics in the

cart. Watani asked Mr Attiya how could he be so sure that this was not true?

“Makeen was a very poor man,” Mr Attiya said. “Could a drug dealer be so poor?

He always enjoyed a good reputation among his neighbours and all who knew

him.  But all this is beside the point; if Makeen was a drug dealer he should have

been prosecuted according to the law, not tortured to death.”

Justice must be served

Mr Attiya cast strong doubts on the police version of the incident. “Had there

really been a collision that killed Makeen as the police said, would the cart have

remained intact? We went to feed the horse where the police kept him and found

him safe and sound and the cart intact.”

Mr Attiya insisted the family did not wish to turn the incident into a tool which the

media would use for sensationalism or political manipulation, and this is why they

had not been talking to the media. “But we insist that justice should be served,” he

said. “The police officer involved in the crime has already been suspended, and the

prosecution has demanded a speedy after-death report from the Forensic Medicine

Authority. We are comfortable with that.”

Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar had directly suspended Captain Karim

Magdy pending investigation in the case. The prosecution investigated footage

from the CCTV cameras at the police station, which proved the three men had

indeed been tortured.

Makeen’s widow and three children—two men and a woman aged 28, 25, and 20,

totally avoided the media.

Watani International

9 December 2016


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