Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Egypt: Two Police officers arrested over death of Khaled Mohammed Said

On 30 June 2010 two police officers were arrested over the death of Khaled Mohammed Said. Khaled Mohammed Said, 28, was brutalised to death by two plainclothe policemen in the city of Alexandria, Egypt - on 6 June 2010. Khaled has become the face of Eyptian police brutality.

The death of Khaled Mohammed Said sparked protests against Egyptian police brutality. During a protest in Cairo police beat and arrested protesters, but many were undeterred. Despite police crackdown on demonstrators and protesters, many refused to be silenced. Human rights activists and groups like Amnesty International continued to demand justice! Demonstrations, protests and criticism of the Egyptian government for alleged impunity in relation to rampant police brutality didn't go in vain. Two police officers were arrested over the death of Khaled Mohammed Said - 24 days after the murder. The two officers, Mahmud Salah Amin and Awad Ismail Suleiman, were arrested on charges of "illegal arrest, using physical torture and brutality"; not murder.

It is worth mentioning that official autopsy results revealed that Khaled Mohammed Said  died as a result of suffocation (asphyxiation) after swallowing a bag of marijuana. As ridiculous this may sound, Egypt's State Prosecutor shared the same view.

Photos of Khaled Mohammed Said, yet another battered and disfigured victim of Egyptian police brutality, surfaced on the internet. Looking at the photographic evidence - does suffocation leave victims bruised, bloodied and disfigured with broken teeth and shattered jaws?

The arrest of two police officers over the death of Khaled Mohammed Said signals a move in the right direction. But a lot more needs to be done to put an end to rampant police brutality in Egypt. Perpetrators should be tried and they should bear the full weight of the law.

Photos: Khaled Said Facebook page.

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