New autopsy, probe ordered into death of Egyptian activist
After days of protests and international condemnation, Egypt has ordered a new autopsy in the case of activist Khaled Mohammed Said, who was allegedly beaten to death by police on Saturday in the northern city of Alexandria.
Said’s death has outraged Egyptians, who have lived under a state of emergency that has given security forces widespread powers for more than 30 years.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry had claimed that Said died as a result of asphyxiation after swallowing drugs, but pictures of his fractured skull and mangled jaw circulating on the internet tell a different story.
Authorities are looking at allegations that the 28-year-old was beaten to death by police officers after the prosecutor-general has ordered a full investigation and a new autopsy, transferring the case to senior investigators.
But a new investigation may not quell activists’ calls for the government to take a stronger stance against widespread police brutality and an Emergency Law blamed for creating a culture of impunity.
For several days protesters have demonstrated against police brutality and called for the dismissal of Interior Minister Habib al-Adly.
The case has been the subject of much debate in newspapers and on television since it was first reported last week.
Over 170,000 Egyptians have joined a Facebook group called “My name is Khaled Said” to campaign for the truth.
Local human rights groups have been joined by Amnesty International in calling for a full investigation.
A spokesman for the US State Department has urged Egypt “to hold accountable whoever is responsible”.