CAIRO, Nov 19, (Agencies): While riding his horse-drawn cart, an Egyptian street vendor was allegedly seized, beaten, and tortured to death by the Egyptian police, according to his family and lawyer — the latest in a string of reports of police brutality that have triggered public outrage.
The 53-year-old Magdy Maken, a fish cart vendor, was arrested on Sunday at midnight after an altercation with a policeman, his family’s lawyer Ali al-Halawani told The Associated Press.
After beating him in the street, the lawyer said, the Coptic Christian Maken was taken to a police station in Cairo’s middle-class neighborhood of el-Ameriyah. Hours later, his lifeless body was brought to a nearby hospital with “torture marks,” according to al-Halawani.
Videos of the vendor’s bloodied body later surfaced on social media.
In one of the videos, a hospital worker de-shrouded Maken’s corpse to reveal a bleeding backside and bruises on his face. A judicial official told The AP that “unusual circumstances” surrounded the death. He said police reported arresting Maken for possession of tramadol — a cheap and thus commonly abused painkiller — and that Maken later died of diabetes-related complications. He said surveillance cameras inside the police station showed Maken arriving alongside police with the seized drugs.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced the head of the journalists’ union and two members to two years in prison for “harbouring fugitives”, allowing them to pay bail pending an appeal. Journalists Syndicate president Yahiya Kallash, Gamal Abd el-Rahim and Khaled Elbalshy were charged in May with sheltering two journalists wanted over protests against the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.