The AP has reported two police officers went on trial Saturday in the death of Egyptian blogger Khaled Said on 6 June [was it 7 June?] in Alexandria. The one-day session will resume on 23 October.
Said was accosted, apparently by plainclothes policemen, while in an internet cafe. His battered body was found hours later in a nearby doorway. Police claim he died from a drug overdose, after swallowing a packet of drugs [or, a “joint”].
AP said that “After the public outcry, prosecutors charged the officers, Mahmoud Salah and Awad Ismail Suleiman, with illegal arrest and harsh treatment, although not with murder as the victim’s family had demanded”.
AP added that “At a trial session Saturday, the victim’s uncle, Ali Guindi, said hundreds of police supporters packed the courtroom, shoving and blocking witnesses for the prosecution and Said supporters from entering … Also, a television crew for the Al-Arabiya network said police confiscated their equipment and assaulted them while covering Saturday’s session”.
AP also noted that “The killing became a rallying point for government critics who denounced it as an example of rampant police abuses in Egypt. The case led to street protests in Cairo and Alexandria, and the US State Department and rights groups including Amnesty International have called for a transparent investigation”. This AP report is published on YNet, here.
Photo from Facebook – taken at June demonstration in Egypt protesting death of Khaled Said
An English-language Facebook page, My name was Khaled and I was not a terrorist says that on June 7, “two wild detective cops – Mahmoud Alfallah and Awaad Elmokhber/the detective – ambushed that cafe asking people for their IDs which is totally out of their authority and without legal permission. He – Khaled – did reject that way of inhumane treatment and consequently was attacked so viciously, was kicked in his chest and belly severely, and his skull was smashed with the marble bar before all people and witnesses in the cafe while Khaled was bleeding. Then savage cops abducted khaled and put him inside the police vehicle to continue torturing him to death in the police station. Finally, they had thrown his corpse in the street to claim that he was attacked by some strangers in order to avoid responsibility. According to the what we have known that there’s systematic campaign to terrify the witnesses and prevent them from testifying what they saw in the cafe. … Thus we the group of the change in Egypt supporters urge you to interfere and to force the authorities to investigate and explain what happened to the public and to condemn it strongly”.