CAIRO: The Kerdassa public prosecution office is currently investigating claims by a man who says he was tortured by the police.
Taxi driver Hany El-Sayyed Ali says that he was beaten by a counter-drugs unit in his home in front of his wife and one-year-old son before they took him to the unit’s headquarters where he was again assaulted and drugs charges fabricated against him.
The events began yesterday at 2 pm when Ali, who has no previous convictions, told a member of the public prosecution office, eight members of a counter-drugs force led by officer Ahmed Sokkar arrived at Ali’s home in Ard El-Lewa, Mohandiseen and asked him for the whereabouts of Essam Mansour, an individual wanted by the police in connection with alleged drug charges.
“They broke the door down and burst into my flat. I asked them who they were and they said ‘hokouma’ [government]. They started searching the flat and I asked to see a warrant but they ignored me, Ali told Daily News Egypt.
“They asked me where Essam Mansour was and I said that I didn’t know.
They told me to telephone him and arrange a meeting so that they could arrest him. When I refused they began hitting me in front of my wife and son.
Ali bore signs of beating on his face and has bloodstains all over the front of his vest when Daily News Egypt saw him at the public prosecution office.
Egyptian human rights groups report that the police routinely use violence against third persons in order to reach wanted individuals.
Ali says that the police seized his mobile phone and LE 1,720 in cash, even though the police record states that only LE 720 was taken.
After the police began beating him he agreed to telephone Mansour and set up the meeting, on condition that his involvement not be revealed to Mansour, fearing reprisals.
A meeting was arranged between Ali and Mansour in a café. Mansour was arrested before both men were then taken to the drugs division headquarters where Ali says he was fingerprinted and detained for an hour.
“I asked the police officer why I was being detained and why they were taking my fingerprints and he said it was routine. I was then taken to Ahmed Sokkar’s office and again asked him why I was being held. He slapped me.
I then asked him why he came into my house without a warrant. He said ‘are you going to get clever and ask me about these things? Don’t you know who I am?’
Ali alleges that Sokkar then hit him on his back using a long strip of plastic.
Lawyer Nov Senary, who attended the investigation says the marks of this beating were clearly visible on Ali’s back.
Ali was told by the officer that he would be released. He was taken from the drugs force headquarters to Kerdassa police station where he spent the night before being taken to the public prosecution office in Imbaba, where he was told that charges of drug dealing had been brought against him.
Evidence against him was in the form of two packages of drugs, as yet unidentified.
The police record states that one of these packages contains 36 pills.
Senary told Daily News Egypt that upon opening the evidence the public prosecution office discovered that it contained only 35 pills.
She suggests that irregularities in the evidence such as this are an indication that a case has been fabricated against Ali. She thinks that the case was brought against him because he challenged the arresting officer, Sokkar.
The public prosecution office today ordered that Ali be sent for medical examination and ordered that he be released on LE 1,000 bail. Senary expects that he will be released tomorrow.