Egyptian police face trial over torture

TWO Egyptian police officers are to face trial charged with torturing a 28-year-old man, whose death sparked a local and international outcry.

Mahmud Salah Amin and Awad Ismail Suleiman have been referred to the Alexandria Criminal Court after they were charged with “unlawful arrest, torture and excessive use of force” against Khaled Said, public prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmud said in a statement.

The two are not facing murder charges.

According to witnesses, Said was killed when plainclothes policemen dragged him out of an Internet cafe and beat him to death on a busy Alexandria street on June 6.

Two autopsies ordered by Egypt’s state prosecutor concluded that Said had died of asphyxiation after swallowing a bag of marijuana when he saw the police officers approaching.

Rights groups have rejected the official account, and Said has since become a symbol for rights activists against police brutality, for which Egypt has been criticised at home and abroad.

Graphic pictures of a bruised and battered Said have appeared on social networking websites, sparking public outcry and condemnation from local and international rights groups.

His death sparked several protests in Cairo and Alexandria.

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