A policeman was referred to a criminal trial on Wednesday on charges of raping a mentally ill woman at Imbaba Police Station last month. The woman had resorted to filing a complaint at this police station, reporting that she had been sexually harassed by men on the streets outside, and was thus held in detention pending the filing of the report.
The office of the prosecutor general referred a 40-year-old policeman, identified as Khaled Abdel Rahman Mohamed, after starting an investigation into the incident on August 29. A host of local media sources reported that the prosecution had “credible evidence” that the policeman in question was involved in abusing the woman.
According to the testimony of female witnesses at the police station, cited in the privately owned Al-Shorouk Newspaper, the woman was escorted out of the holding room and subsequently raped by the policeman.
The independent El Badil news website also cited the testimonies of female witnesses who were inside the police station at the time of the alleged rape. According to El Badil’s coverage, these women testified that the policeman sought to exploit the woman’s mental condition to sexually assault and rape her.
The witnesses also mentioned that the policeman took the woman out of view of the station’s security camera before sexually assaulting her.
Several lawsuits claiming the occurrence of physical abuse, torture, and even deaths, in and around Imbaba Police Station have been filed, both prior to and since the January 25 uprising of 2011. However, courts have acquitted most of the policemen and officers accused of these charges.
Late last month, in light of this alleged incident of rape at the Imbaba Police Station, the Ministry of Interior issued a statement announcing that “the ministry does not cover-up any incident attributed to policemen. It takes the necessary actions to investigate them strictly and transparently, assuring that such anomalies and individual incidents are addressed, and that deterrent measures are taken against all those involved in its commission.”