A second prisoner died Monday in the Abshawi police station in Fayoum, due to a lack of medical care, marking the second case of death in police custody since Saturday.
The Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms said that the deceased, 52-year-o;d Shabaan Abdel Aal, “was prevented medical treatment”.
Abdel Aal who lived in the Al-Nasseria village, asked to be taken to hospital, but was denied by officers at the station, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) reported. It was reported that Abdel Aal died shortly afterwards.
The police station, however, said that he was taken to the hospital. The Ministry of Interior was not available for comment on the incident. The Freedom for the Brave group reported that the head officer at the station denied Abdel Aal’s transferral to hospital, citing a lack of soldiers to secure the police station.
The FJP further reported that the detention room where Abdel Aal died was “very tight and not well ventilated”. It added that medicine is not allowed in the detention room.
Abdel Aal’s case is the second to occur in the same police station since last Saturday. The first incident occurred when an alleged member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ahmed Hamed, died on Saturday morning at the same police station’s detention facility. His family claims he was tortured, although security officers deny the charge.
Hamed’s family, originally from Manshat Abdallah village, said that upon hearing the news of his death, they headed to the police station, but officers did not allow them in. The body was then transferred to the hospital.
The Ministry of Interior, however, said that Hamed died due to a high body temperature inside the detention room at the police station. It added that Hamed was arrested on charges of “making bombs to use in terrorist operations”.
Recently, several activist groups and the Muslim Brotherhood have launched a hashtag on social media which translates into “Death Cells”, referring to the rise of deaths in prison cells. Users demanded the rescuing of political detainees from what many called “inhumane treatment and prison conditions”. The Ministry of Interior explained that overcrowding in detention rooms and prisons is the reason for the surge in the number of arrests.
In an extension of the state’s crackdown on alleged Islamists to retain security and stability as part of the “war on terror”, approximately 3,977 individuals were arrested in 2015 on charges of belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood, according to official Ministry of Interior reports.
As tension in governorates continues, the Ministry of Interior releases statements almost weekly announcing the “arrest of terrorist elements”. The press office of the ministry said they arrested 15 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, accused of attacking state institutions, inciting violence, and targeting personnel from the armed forces and the police.
In a separate event, Ali Abdel Wahab, an officer at the Beni Suef Security Directorate, died Monday as a result of injuries sustained after being shot last week. He was shot by unknown assailants in Fayoum while he was on his way to work, receiving wounds from six bullets. He was later transported to hospital for medical treatment, where he died.
The volatile governorate witnessed a military funeral for the deceased, with the attendance of the city’s governor Wael Makram, and assistant to the Interior Minister General Naser Al-Abd. The funeral was also attended by civilians and other officials. Makram said, during the funeral, that terrorism will not affect the country’s stability, asserting the government’s role in countering all kinds of militancy.