Protest in Egypt after death of man in police custody

Residents of Luxor march in solidarity with the family of Talaat Shabib al-Rashidi who died shortly after arrest.

    Amnesty International accuses Egyptian security forces of acting with impunity [Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters]
    Amnesty International accuses Egyptian security forces of acting with impunity [Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters]

    Residents of the southern Egyptian city of Luxor have staged a rally in protest at the death of a man in police custody, the latest in a string of killings by security forces, the state-owned Ahram newspaper reported.

    Special: Inside Egypt's Prisons

    The protest on Tuesday came almost a week after the death of Talaat Shabib al-Rashidi, who was picked up by police while sitting in a cafe in the village of Awamiyya.

    A few hours after police took him, Rashidi's family was summoned to collect his body and handed a copy of his forensic report.

    Security officials said the 47-year-old was being held for the illegal possession of painkillers, and later fell in and died in hospital, the report in Ahram said.

    Rashidi's family disputed that account and said that he had died inside the police station.

    Following his death on Saturday, police attempted to apologise to the victim's family but the relatives rejected that move and continued to call for revenge.

    The death is the latest to occur in police detention from suspected torture. Security forces have been accused of torturing members of the opposition, as well as ordinary Egyptians without political affiliation.

    In June, Tarek Khalil, a Muslim Brotherhood member, went missing and his body was returned to his family with signs of torture after he was kidnapped by security forces.

    Amnesty International has condemned what it calls an "entrenched impunity and a near total lack of accountability for abuses" among Egypt's security forces.

    "Years of impunity have emboldened the Egyptian security forces, who have effectively been granted the green light to continue torturing and otherwise ill-treating detainees without facing any consequences," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, of Amnesty.

    The torture and killing of student Khaled Saeed by police officers in 2010 helped galvanise protests that eventually led to the downfall of Egypt's then president, Hosni Mubarak.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.