By Salma Abdallah
Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zaid denied that Sudanese nationals are mistreated in Egypt, stating that the alleged torture incident of a Sudanese man is not true.
Sudanese national Yahia Zakaria, 50, was assaulted and tortured by policemen, according to Sudanese media. Zakaria’s story went viral on social media websites along with his image with bloodied eyes and bruises on his arms and legs.
“We communicated with several state entities and confirmed that the rumours of Sudanese nationals being subjected to mistreatment are not true at all. The Sudanese people live in Egypt as Egyptians,” Abu Zaid said in a televised interview on TEN TV channel.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with the Sudanese ambassador in Cairo after the embassy released two statements inquiring about the cases of mistreatment and detention of Sudanese nationals in Egypt.
“He [Shoukry] cleared up the situation with the Sudanese ambassador and requested him to report any mistreatment incidents or complaints so that they would be investigated,” Abu Zaid said.
Armed police officers arrested Zakaria, who came to Cairo for medical treatment for his son, after he left a currency exchange office in Talaat Harb Square in downtown Cairo. Zakaria was deported to Khartoum on 15 November after spending almost a week in detention. Charges against him were dropped.
Abu Zaid denied systematic targeting of Sudanese nationals, noting that security measures tackling issues of illegal trading currency are applied on whoever breaks the law, without discrimination.
According to a medical report published by Sudanese media outlets, there were signs of torture on Zakaria’s body, including bloodied eyes, bruised arms, and burn wounds. The report also mentioned that Zakaria was “subjected to physical and psychological harm”.