Head of the Forensic Medicine Department Hisham Abdul Hamid said in a televised phone call on Sunday evening that Magdy Makeen’s autopsy report would take around three weeks to be finalised, adding that the timeframe for the report is normal when dealing with deaths inside police stations or prison cells.
Abdul Hamid explained that samples taken from the body must be submerged in a formaldehyde solution for at least two weeks before being examined.
This statement directly contradicts statements made by the victim’s lawyer Ali El-Halawany, who on Saturday said the prosecution ordered the autopsy report to be produced within 48 hours.
Photographs of Makeen’s tortured body have been circulating on social media; however, Abdul Hamid has dismissed them, saying the photographs are not of the victim. He added that the forensic team took photos of the body during the autopsy process.
Makeen was allegedly tortured by about 10 police officers at Al-Amiriya police station after being arrested on 13 November while driving a cart with two of his friends. His family found out about his death on 14 November and decided to transfer the body to Al-Zaytoun hospital, where they found signs of assault and torture on his body.
The incident went viral on social media platforms and stirred public outrage calling for an end to police brutality and demanding accountability for his torture.
Some media outlets had published an autopsy report alleging that Makeen was diabetic and had died due to low blood pressure. However, the forensics department has refuted this claim.
Since the start of 2016, there have been a string of cases of police abuse directed against civilians. Security forces and the prosecution handle cases in which a prisoner dies in detention with secrecy. The Ministry of Interior does not comment on such cases, and in the rare occasion that it does the ministry denies them.