Egypt opposition: Police torture activist to death

Mohammed el-Gindy, a 28-year-old activist, died of his wounds early Monday at a Cairo hospital after he was "tortured to death," the Egyptian Popular Current party said in a statement.

In this Saturday Feb. 2, 2013 photo, demonstrators hold candles in memory of protester Mohammed Qorany, at the spot where he died in clashes, near the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt. Protesters and rights groups have accused police of using excessive force this past week during a wave of mass demonstrations in cities around the country called by opposition politicians, trying to wrest concessions from Morsi. (AP/Virginie Nguyen Hoang)

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian opposition party on Monday claimed police tortured one of its members to death, electrocuting him and beating him repeatedly on the head — the latest case alleging police brutality in a crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Mohammed el-Gindy, a 28-year-old activist, died of his wounds early Monday at a Cairo hospital after he was "tortured to death," the Egyptian Popular Current party said in a statement.

The Interior Ministry had no immediate comment.

El-Gindy went missing for several days after protesting on Jan. 27 in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The protesters are opposed to Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi's policies and are pressing him to amend the constitution, which was drafted by a panel dominated by Islamists and approved in a public referendum last year.

Party spokeswoman Mona Amer said she saw el-Gindy's body and that it carried marks of torture. She said he was electrocuted, had broken ribs and a "cord appeared to have been wrapped around his neck." A medical report cited brain hemorrhage as cause of death.

Party members were organizing a funeral for el-Gindy and Mohammed Saad, a 20-year-old protester, who also died of his wounds sustained during clashes with security forces on Friday.

More than 60 people have died in recent protests across Egypt that began on Jan. 24, the eve of the second anniversary of the start of the uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The deaths of the two activists come days after a video surfaced showing riot police beating and dragging naked a man during Friday clashes near Egypt's presidential palace. The man, Hamada Saber, initially denied police abuse and said protesters undressed him. But later he changed his account of what happened, saying he lied to avoid more problems.

The beating was caught on camera by The Associated Press, and the video was broadcast live on Egyptian television late Friday as protests raged in the streets outside the presidential palace. The AP video showed police trying to bundle the naked man into a police van after beating him.

The beating prompted a rare statement of regret from the Interior Ministry, which promised to investigate the attack. The president's office said it was pained by the images and called the assault "shocking."

Associated Press
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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