By: AbdelHalim H. AbdAllah
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights condemned the assault of MBC Egypt correspondent Aslam Fathy in a statement Hafez Abou Seada, the organisation’s president, called on the Minister of Interior to “confront such crimes and to call for an urgent investigation in this case, as its impossible to have such crimes repeated in a country that have had two revolutions.”
On Sunday, Fathy pressed charges against the officers who he claimed assaulted him, presenting his case to the prosecutor general.
Fathy told the Daily News Egypt that he was near Al-Mahata square in Al-Minya around 7pm last Thursday, where he got into an argument with a police officer who prevented him from covering a breaking story taking place at the time: “The officer pushed me several times even after I showed him my ID card that proved that I am a journalist.”
Fathy, who received a beating from the officer, was then dragged to Al-Bandar Police Station where he was beaten again and tortured by a method known as the “briefcase”, which entails handcuffing a suspect’s hands and legs and hanging them using a stick.
“I feared my hands would get cut off while I was hanging. They beat me viciously with their legs and batons, called me an ikhwani [member of the Brotherhood] and insulted me because I live in Samalout, where the Brotherhood attacked a police check point there,” Fathy said.
After spending the night in the station, Fathy was prevented from establishing contact with his lawyer, as his cell phone was confiscated once he entered the station. He was immediately charged with attacking a police officer by the prosecution. On Friday, the charges were dropped and he was released and taken to the Minya University Hospital, where he passed out.
The ministry of interior was not available for comment.