Funeral of Hassan Sha’ban disrupted

Rana Muhammad Taha
4 Min Read
Egyptian riot police try to quell clashes in Alexandria in December 2012. (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)
Egyptian riot police try to quell clashes in Alexandria (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)
Egyptian riot police try to quell clashes in Alexandria in December 2012. (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)

A funeral for the Alexandria detainee Hassan Sha’ban was cancelled on Friday after a group attacked it and disrupted its trip from the Koom Al-Dekka Morgue to Al-Qa’ed Ibrahim Mosque.

Sha’ban died in remanded custody on Wednesday night after he was allegedly refused medication. Sha’ban reportedly suffered from diabetes and heart disease.

On reaching Al-Qa’ed Ibrahim Mosque, No to Military Trials (NoMilTrials) activist Mahienour El-Massry stated that a large group of “strange-looking men” staged a fight with some of those taking part in the funeral. El-Massry was among those present in front of the Mosque. A prayer for the deceased was scheduled to take place at Al-Qa’ed Ibrahim Mosque following the Friday prayer. His family then planned to take him to his hometown Beni Suef for burial.

“Sha’ban’s family decided to perform the prayer right away, before the Friday prayer, then move immediately to Beni Suef,” El-Massry said. She added that the family feared clashes with the men waiting outside the mosque could jeopardise the funeral.

Sha’ban was arrested last Friday amid clashes near Sidi Gaber, Alexandria. El-Massry claimed he was in a pharmacy getting medication from his brother-in-law when police forces arrested him. Sha’ban’s mother told state-owned Al-Ahram that her son had never taken part in a protest.

Alongside 30 other detainees arrested on Friday, Sha’ban’s case was referred for investigation on Sunday. El-Massry stated the detainees’ investigation was postponed for a week, a procedure she described as “illegal”. The detainees remained in remanded custody in Borg Al-Arab jail during the week.

“Sha’ban was in the intensive care unit from 17 January until 21 January,” El-Massry said, adding that the movement possesses official documents from the governmental hospital to which Sha’ban was admitted. El-Massry claimed Sha’ban was unable to communicate properly with his lawyer Salwa Beshir during his investigation due to his illness.

“Detainees who were kept with Sha’ban claimed he fell into a diabetic coma three times a day,” El-Massry said.

Both Sha’ban’s mother and NoMilTrials members tried in vain to convince the prosecutors to allow Sha’ban necessary treatment. The prosecution ordered Sha’ban’s referral to a doctor on Tuesday but Sha’ban died before the order was enforced.

The family, with NoMilTrials, is filing a report against the president, the Minister of Interior, the Prosecutor General, the head of the Prisons Authority, the East Alexandria Attorney General, the Borg Al-Arab warden, and the Sidi Gaber prosecutor who was in charge of Sha’ban’s investigation. The report accuses the aforementioned bodies of negligence which led to Sha’ban’s death.

“There is an obvious complicity between the police and the prosecution,” El-Massry said. She added that detainees arrested in political cases routinely suffer ill treatment at Borg Al-Arab jail.

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