Egypt to try policeman for beating suspect to death

Egypt to try policeman for beating suspect to death
An Egyptian policeman will stand trial for beating to death a vet in custody, part of a crackdown on rampant extrajudicial killings in prisons.
2 min read
27 December, 2015
Egyptian police have been accused of numerous human rights abuses [Getty]

An Egyptian policeman will stand trial for beating to death a vet in custody, a judicial official said Sunday.

Prosecutors ordered police officer Mohamed Ibrahim to be tried in connection with the killing of a vet in November in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya.

Ibrahim is also charged with illegally detaining the man and forging official documents, which led to the victim being accused of dealing in drugs.

Human rights groups regularly accuse the police and intelligence of abusing and torturing detainees.

Earlier this month, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned that police officers found guilty of "committing mistakes" would be punished.

On Saturday, a court in the Nile Delta city of Tanta sentenced in absentia two policemen to life in prison for killing Ismail Abdelhamid in October 2014.

On December 12, two secret policemen were jailed for five years for beating to death an imprisoned lawyer in a Cairo police station in February.

That verdict came two days after an officer was sentenced to five years for the battering to death of another suspect in a drug case in the Nile delta town of Rashid.

In a separate case, 13 policemen are to stand trial next month over the death of a man in custody in the southern city of Luxor in November.

Police abuses under former president Hosni Mubarak were said to be a key factor for the 2011 uprising that led to his ouster.

One of the triggers of the revolt was the case of Khaled Saeed, a young man tortured to death by police after his arrest in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

The overthrow of Mohammed Morsi in 2013 unleashed a deadly crackdown on his supporters in which hundreds have been killed and thousands detained, and accusations of ill treatment in prisons are common.

The interior ministry has said it does not condone torture but that there have been "individual" cases of abuse. 

Analysts have noted that the Egyptian government's comndemation of police abuse maybe an attempt by the military-backed state to distance themselves from the police force, often criticised by much of the population.