Hamas blamed Egypt Tuesday of torturing to death one of his members, who had been held in one of its jails. Youssef Abu Zuhri, the brother and bodyguard of a senior Hamas spokesman, was detained on April 28 after crossing into Sinai from the Gaza Strip and was tortured while in custody of the security services, Hamas said.
"They wanted to get information from him to convict me. Certainly he had nothing to say because there was nothing to tell," the spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri was quoted as saying by Reuters. "In one brief telephone call to me, he told me he had lost his sight," Abu Zuhri said. "'Save me,' were his last words."
Egyptian security sources denied the torture claims. They said Abu Zuhri, 38, died Monday from liver and chest ailments and that his body would be returned to his family in the Gaza Strip.
Another Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, said Youssef Abu Zuhri had died of internal bleeding. "We asked Egyptian officials to intervene to save his life. We asked them to send him to a hospital," Barhoum conveyed. "We condemn this murder. He was tortured to death."
Barhoum said Egypt continued to hold several Hamas prisoners, including Ayman Nofal, a military commander arrested for crossing illegally into the Sinai last year.