Man alleges he was thrown off balcony by police

Sarah Carr
4 Min Read

CAIRO: A man who suffered extensive injuries after allegedly being thrown off a fourth floor balcony by a police officer, is being kept handcuffed in a hospital and has been denied the right to seek medical treatment for his injuries elsewhere.

According to a statement issued by the Nadim Center for the Rehabilitation of the Victims of Violence, Fares Barakat from Damanhour suffered injuries including three pelvic fractures, fracture of three vertebrae and blood accumulation in the stomach and around the liver.

Barakat alleges that on May 17, 2009 at 7 pm, two state security investigations officers broke into the apartment of Ahmed Ali Hussein Eid while Eid was celebrating his daughter’s seventh birthday with family and friends, including Barakat.

According to the Nadim statement, the police officers claimed to have a warrant for the search of the apartment, and were violent and abusive to those present.

When Barakat asked to see the warrant, he says that one of the officers pushed him back towards a balcony in the apartment.

“When he tried to resist he was held back by [one of the officers] who was ordered by [the other] to ‘throw this man from the balcony.’ Barakat fell from the fourth floor, was badly injured and lost consciousness, the Nadim statement reads.

While two requests for an investigation into the incident were initially rejected, lawyer Mohamed Abdel Aziz told Daily News Egypt that the Damanhour public prosecution office has begun an inquiry. He added that one of the officers failed to appear when summoned to give evidence.

The Ministry of Interior’s parliamentary representatives reportedly told MPs on Monday that Barakat wasn’t thrown but has jumped from the balcony when police raided a Muslim Brotherhood meeting at the apartment.

According to Al-Shorouk daily, the ministry’s representative said Barakat had confessed to have jumped off the balcony. In response Muslim Brotherhood MPs accused security of changing Barakat’s quotes in the official report.

Beheira’s public attorney has refused two demands submitted by Barakat’s lawyers to transfer Barakat from the Damanhour medical institute, where he is currently being detained, to the Mostafa Kamel hospital in Alexandria for an operation on his pelvic fractures.

“The public attorney of Beheira . insisted on summoning forensic medicine to confirm his need for such procedure, the Nadim statement reads.

“In the meantime Barakat’s condition is worsening and he continues to be kept in ICU under strict police surveillance and handcuffed to his bed for fear he might escape.

The Nadim Center statement also says that two Damanhour intelligence officers together with other policemen prevented doctors and family from entering the ICU claiming that the prosecution has ordered that Barakat be detained.

“[The officer] then insisted on questioning Barakat and when the family protested they were forcefully removed from the hospital, the Nadim statement reads.

“An hour and a half later [the officer] left the ICU carrying several sheets of paper signed by Barakat. When lawyers viewed the papers in the police investigations file … they found that events had been clearly falsified, the statement continues.

One of the officers was previously implicated in a case involving alleged police brutality during a raid on the village of Sarando, also in Damanhour.

The raid led to the death of one woman and injury of seven others.

According to Ikhwan Online, the website of the Muslim Brotherhood group, the incident involving Barakat formed part of an arrest campaign conducted against the group on May 17 in Damanhour, during which 24 of its members were arrested.

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Sarah Carr is a British-Egyptian journalist in Cairo. She blogs at
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