Egyptian engineer dies after alleged torture inside security headquarters

Egyptian engineer dies after alleged torture inside security agency HQ
2 min read
21 March, 2020
Hisham Abu Ali, who was allegedly tortured to death by security forces two weeks after being forcibly disappeared, is the 16th person to die behind bars in Egypt this year.
Torture victim Hisham Abu Ali [Al-Araby Al-Jadeed]

Egyptian security forces have allegedly tortured a man to death inside the National Security Agency headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Menoufia, The New Arab’s Arabic-language service reported on Saturday.

The country's notorious secret police forcibly disappeared engineer Hisham Abu Ali two weeks ago after being named as a suspect in an investigation.

His family were asked to collect his body from the security headquarters on Saturday.

They said the 56-year-old did not have any underlying health conditions that could have caused his sudden death, according to human rights group We Record.

Abu Ali's death comes as calls for the government to release detainees as a COVID-19 preventative measure grow louder.

Authorities in Iran and Bahrain have released thousands of prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, in a bid to prevent the virus from causing a health crisis inside overcrowded detention facilities.

Hisham Abu Ali is the 16th Egyptian prisoner to
die this year [Al-Araby Al-Jadeed]

Egypt's prisons are notoriously cramped and squalid, and families of prisoners fear a coronavirus outbreak could be catastrophic. 

Prison authorities have halted family visits to inmates at least until the end of this month citing the "public health and safety of inmates". This has meant relatives cannot bring medicine, clean clothes and fresh food directly to those incarcerated.

Those protesting for their release were temporarily detained themselves, however a growing social media campaign as well as calls from lawmakers themselves are reiterating these demands.

Deaths in Egypt's prisons are common. On Thursday, Subhi Fathi Abdel-Samad Ramadan died in a prison in Minya after being denied treatment of health-related leave for a medical condition. 

Abu Ali was the 16th detainee to die behind bars in Egypt since the beginning of the year.

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