Egypt denies prison inmate died of torture

By Mohamed Shadi, Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Egyptian Interior Ministry has dismissed reports on social media that a prison inmate had been tortured to death

The Egyptian Interior Ministry has dismissed reports on social media that a prison inmate had been tortured to death

CAIRO – The Egyptian Interior Ministry has dismissed reports on social media that a prison inmate had been tortured to death.

In a statement, the ministry denied reports alleging that Hani al-Daidamoni – an inmate of Egypt's Zagazig prison – had been tortured to death.

"The prisoner is enjoying good health in jail," the ministry asserted.

In February, 16 local NGOs called for an independent investigation into what it described as "increasing allegations" of systematic torture and sexual abuse in Egyptian prisons.

In a joint statement, the NGOs called for thousands of prisoners at Egyptian police stations to undergo medical examinations and for an independent delegation to be dispatched to meet prison inmates.

Signatories of the statement included the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the Nadim Center for the Management and Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, and the Cairo Center for Human Rights Studies.

Earlier this month, the Egyptian Observatory for Rights and Freedoms said it had documented more than 270 cases of torture – and three cases of rape – against detained supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in the month of March alone.

The rights group expressed concern over what it described as the maltreatment of detainees, particularly students, by Egypt's military-backed authorities.

The authorities have carried out a massive crackdown on supporters of Morsi and his embattled Muslim Brotherhood since the Islamist leader's ouster by the military last July.

In the almost ten months since, thousands of the groups' members and sympathizers have been rounded up.

The Interior Ministry, for its part, has repeatedly denied allegations that prisoners were being subject to maltreatment or torture inside the country's police stations. 

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