Egypt's authorities have detained two policemen for investigation on charges of beating an activist, who rights groups said died due to police brutality, a judicial source said on Wednesday.
The death of Khaled Said, 28, on June 6 has sparked public protests and raised concerns among U.S. and European allies and donors. The opposition has used the case to call for an end to emergency law which they say gives police impunity and stifles dissent.
An EU statement this week, drawn up by ambassadors, expressing concern about the case prompted the Foreign Ministry to summon envoys in protest, saying the move was "unacceptable interference" in Egypt's affairs, the ministry said.
The judicial source said the Alexandria general prosecution had ordered the detention of the policemen for investigation for four days on charges of "using harsh treatment and beating the victim" causing injuries described in the autopsy.
The prosecution also questioned the officers about witness accounts that the victim's teeth were broken from the beating, the source said, adding the officers said the injuries were a result of his body falling when being put into an ambulance.
A second government autopsy said Said had choked on a plastic roll of drugs, confirming the initial findings. It said the injuries he sustained were not the cause of his death.
Rights groups say Said was beaten to death outside an Internet cafe in the port city of Alexandria. He had earlier posted an Internet video that purportedly showed two policemen sharing in the spoils of a drug bust.
U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said there was evidence two plainclothes policemen beat Said to death and the the state had failed to explain signs of beatings on his body.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 01 Temmuz 2010, 08:45