Egypt: 'shocking' police attack on prisoner at moment of expected release

Instead of releasing Islam Khalil, police beat him unconscious and brought fresh charges against him  
 
Khalil one of hundreds who’d been ‘disappeared’ into custody in country
 
Egyptian police have subjected a detainee who was about to be released to a sustained attack and brought fresh charges against him, said Amnesty International. 
 
Islam Khalil, who had already been tortured and subjected to enforced disappearance for 122 days, was transferred to the Second Raml Police Station in the city of Alexandria in preparation for release yesterday after a court ordered him be freed on bail of 50,000 EGP (approximately £4,250) on Sunday. 
 
However instead of releasing him, police officers beat him into unconsciousness and brought fresh charges against him including the accusation that he physically assaulted a police officer yesterday. According to his brother, Nour, Khalil was beaten with pipes all over his body until he became unconscious, suffering injuries to his face, hands and head. He is now in solitary confinement awaiting questioning by a prosecutor and has been denied access to his family and lawyer.
 
It appears that the Egyptian authorities are refusing to release Khalil in retaliation for national and international campaigning efforts on his behalf. As they attacked him yesterday, police officers were heard to say: “Is this whole noise to pressure for your release? We will not release you unless you are dead.”
 
Islam Khalil was forcibly disappeared for 122 days in 2015 after being abducted alongside his brother and father from his home by agents from Egypt’s National Security Agency. He was held blindfolded and handcuffed in solitary confinement and was beaten, given electric shocks and suspended by his wrists and ankles for hours at a time. He has been denied access to a doctor, his family and a lawyer. 
 
In a detailed report last month (www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/egypt-secret-detention-and-torture-op…), Amnesty highlighted that hundreds of people have been subjected to enforced disappearances in Egypt since early 2015, with enforced disappearances now a “key instrument of state policy” in the country. Islam Khalil’s case was featured in an Amnesty video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymHzgXuheRg) issued with the report.
 
Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Magdalena Mughrabi said:
 
“The police officers’ refusal to comply with the court order demanding Islam Khalil’s release from custody shows the Egyptian authorities’ shocking disregard for rule of law.
 
“His case highlights how crucial it is for Egypt’s authorities to stamp out the use of enforced disappearances, torture and all other forms of ill-treatment. They must urgently release Islam Khalil now and open an investigation into his allegations of torture and other ill-treatment and bring those responsible to justice.” 
 

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