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Amnesty calls for independent investigation after Egyptian prisoner 'tortured to death' in Aqrab jail

Hossam Hamed was beaten in solitary confinement before his death, sources say [Twitter]

Date of publication: 24 August, 2019

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Hossam Hamed, 30, died in solitary confinement in Cairo’s notorious Aqrab prison. Sources say he was beaten violently before his death. Amnesty International has called for an impartial investigation.
The human rights group Amnesty International is urging Egyptian authorities to carry out an impartial investigation into the death of an inmate at Egypt's most notorious prison amid torture allegations.

The London-based group said in a statement on Friday that 30-year-old Hossam Hamed was found dead on Tuesday with a swollen, bloody face in his cell at Cairo's notorious Aqrab prison, where he was held in solitary confinement for nearly three weeks.

Amnesty said that it had obtained testimony from three sources "close to the incident" that Hamed was "repeatedly physically assaulted by prison guards" while being held in solitary confinement. He was heard shouting and banging on the door, until his cell went quiet, according to Amnesty, and guards opened the door and found him dead.

Amnesty's Magdalena Mughrabi says that "Egyptian security forces have an appalling record of using shocking brutality with near total impunity."

Since his arrest at least four years ago, Hamed has been tried several times on terror charges and for belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood organization. In one of these cases, Hamed was sentenced to 25 years in jail.

Hamed was transferred to al-Aqrab prison in February and his family were prevented from seeing him, in violation of Egyptian prison regulations.

Amnesty International said that three other detainees have died in Egyptian prisons since last month, "amid repeated allegations of inadequate health care, ill-treatment and torture".

In July, 130 prisoners in al-Aqrab went on hunger strike to protest conditions.

Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first ever democratically elected president, died in court on June 17, following years of medical neglect in prison and there are fears over the health of other high-profile prisoners, such as former presidential candidate Abdul Monem Aboul Fotouh.

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