Egypt: Autopsy on body of rights activist ordered
Egypt's attorney general has ordered a new autopsy on the body of a 28-year-old man that rights groups said was beaten to death for exposing police corruption, state newspaper Al-Ahram said on Wednesday. Police have denied any role in the death of Khaled Mohammed Said. Authorities said he died from an overdose of drugs he swallowed before police approached him.
Said's death was condemned globally. "We urge that it be done transparently and in a manner consistent with the serious allegations that have been made," a State Department spokesman said in remarks on the department's website. He said Washington was concerned about the death.
According to activists and human rights groups, Said was killed in the port city of Alexandria on June 6 after he posted an internet video which Said's family said showed police officers sharing the profits of a drug deal. The El-Nadeem Centre, a rights group following the case, said undercover policemen confronted Said in an internet cafe, dragged him onto the street and beat him to death. Social networking sites posted images of his beaten face and body.
Amnesty said the government had not shown it was serious in addressing the issue. "The fact that the two officers believed to have killed Khaled Mohammed Said have not been so far suspended is alarming and sends a chilling message that the security forces in Egypt are effectively above the law," the group said in a statement.