The Appeal Court ordered the retrial of two National Security officers previously charged with torturing lawyer Kareem Hamdy to death in Matariya police station last year.
The two officers will stand trial for the second time in front of a different bench in the Criminal Court. The officers, a lieutenant colonel and a major, will face accusations of “beating to death”.
Hamdy was arrested on 22 February 2015, allegedly on charges of belonging to an outlawed group and possession of weapons, and reportedly died two days later.
Montaser El–Zayat, prominent lawyer and former candidate for the Lawyers Syndicate presidency, said that the lawyers will continue their legal efforts in the retrial.
The National Security apparatus is the successor of the controversial State Security apparatus, which was accused of mass torture and severe human rights violations in the era of former president Hosni Mubarak. In March 2015, lawyers protested in Cairo and organised a mass rally to demand Hamdy’s retribution, mostly chanting against the Ministry of Interior.
Torture has been a controversial subject in Egypt, where the police are accused of torturing detainees and suspects. In the majority of cases, the police announce that the “cause of death is a failure of the body’s blood circulation”.
At the time, the Ministry of Interior told Daily News Egypt that Hamdy died due to a “circulatory failure”.
Days after, the forensics report said the body came from Matariya hospital and had injuries to the neck, chest, hands, legs, and knees. The report cited bruises and cuts on the victim’s body, adding the presence of considerable cuts in the area of the genitals.