Since Monday, prosecutors have been investigating the death of yet another detainee in custody at Matareya Police Station.
This is the second reported fatality of a detainee at the station in less than a month, according to Egyptian media outlets Youm7 and Al-Masry Al-Youm.
The prisoner, 23-year-old Ahmed Ibrahim al-Sayed, died on Sunday while in custody at Matareya Police Station in northern Cairo. He was due to be released from custody the following day.
In a video interview posted on Misr al-Arabiya news website, the victim’s distressed and bereaved father, Mohamed, commented: “On the day I’m due to pick up my son, I receive his dead body instead.”
The prisoner was released from Borg al-Arab Prison (in the governorate of Alexandria) on June 8 and was eventually transferred to Matareya Police Station on June 12.
Ahmed Ibrahim al-Sayed had been sentenced to three years imprisonment on charges of theft, but was released early (having spent 26 months of his sentence) due to his good conduct in Borg al-Arab Prison. His father claims that he was jailed on trumped-up charges.
He added that upon inspecting his son’s corpse, he noticed bruise marks on his back, which he attributed to a beating inflicted by a police baton. The father also commented that his face was bruised and swollen.
A host of other media outlets reported that the deceased had bruise marks on his face, and prosecutors reported the same in their investigations.
Mohamed al-Sayed said, “Detainees are held in inhuman conditions” and “the police have become even filthier than before” — the January 25 Revolution of 2011.
The bereaved father added that the acting Minister of Interior, Mohamed Ibrahim, is more brutal than Mubarak’s former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly.
“I personally accuse Captain Hossam Hanafy of murdering my son.” The father concluded: “I will not accept this injustice against my son.”
The Deputy Chief of the Matareya Police Station, Captian Hossam Hanafy, is being investigated on charges of contributing to — or neglecting to prevent — the death of Sayed.
A host of media reports, cite this police captain as claiming that Sayed died of natural causes, and that an ambulance was brought in to rush him to hospital, yet he died prior to his arrival.
Matareya’s district prosecutor, Hassan Dawoud, is reportedly hearing the testimonies of other policemen at the station, along with the accounts of other detainees, including Sayed’s cellmates.
The coroner’s forensic report is expected within a few days.
According to the private Al-Bawaba News Portal, Sayed’s death may be the eleventh case of a detainee fatality at this specific police facility within just seven months. However, this figure could not be independently verified.
Over the past few months, reports of police brutality and torture at Matareya Police Station have been widely reported in several media outlets. Other Cairo police stations have also recently witnessed deaths of detainees, particularly Imbaba Police Station.