The Western Cairo Prosecution ordered on Monday that the detention of police officer Karim Magdy and three other low-ranking officers be extended for an additional 15 days. Magdy and the others have been charged with torturing street vendor Magdy Makeen to death last November.
The lawyer of officer Magdy, Tarek Said, demanded the release of his client arguing that he has a fixed address and a fixed occupation at the Ministry of Interior. He also argued that the forensics report did not cite any signs of torture on Makeen’s body.
This comes in opposition to the statements of lawyer Mohamed Osman, who is a member of the defence team representing Makeen’s family.
Osman said that the autopsy report of Makeen proves that his death was the result of torture, adding that the report indicated that someone had stood on Makeen’s back, which resulted in him experiencing a severe state of panic. A blood clot formed in his lungs, which resulted in his death.
The officers are charged with beating Makeen to death, which resulted in the injuries mentioned in the forensics report. During the investigations, the officers denied the charges.
Makeen was allegedly tortured by 10 police officers at Al-Amiriya police station, after being arrested on 13 November while driving a cart with two of his friends. His family found out about his death on 14 November and decided to transfer the body to Al-Zaytoun hospital, where they found signs of assault and torture on his body.
The prosecution ordered the release of six non-commissioned officers on a bail of EGP 3,000 pending investigation in relation to the case.
There have been hundreds of complaints documented by non-governmental organisations addressing torture in police custody and detention centres. The Interior Ministry usually responds to these complaints by denying that this abuse is systematic, explaining that these cases are “individual” and “do not represent the ministry as whole”.