The Egyptian political detainee Mahmoud Tawfiq died in custody only two weeks after his arbitrarily arrest and forced disappearance, during which he was severely beaten and tortured.
Tawfiq was detained after Egyptian security forces, in civilian clothes, stormed on June 25 his house in Alexandria, severely beat him, and took him to an unknown destination.
Tawfiq was in good health before his arrest from his home on Ezz Street in Kom Al-Shuqafa, Karmouz, Alexandria Governorate.
During his arrest, a member of the security forces harassed Tawfiq’s wife and brutally attacked him when he tried to defend his wife.
The security forces also damaged the house furniture and family belonging, throwing some of them from the ninth floor.
On Friday, Tawfiq’s family was informed of his death in his prison cell, and he was buried on Saturday in the family cemetery, amid strict security measures.
The security forces seized all the surveillance cameras recordings in the nearby residential building and the shops, in an attempt to cover up an extrajudicial killing.
The incident stresses the urgent need to open an investigation into Tawfiq’s death, and bring those involved in this crime to justice.
The Ministry of Interior issued a statement denying the incident, claiming that Tawfiq’s death was due to a severe drop in blood circulation.
The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) has obtained testimonies refuting the Ministry’s statement and confirming that Tawfiq’s death was due to severe beaten and torture.
Tawfiq’s family was threatened and blackmailed to prevent them from communicating with media outlets and human rights organisations.
Tawfiq is the second prisoner to breathe his last in Egyptian custody in July 2023 and the 19th since the start of the year.
In the first half of the year, 17 prisoners died in Egyptian prisons due to the medical negligence policy and poor conditions of detention in Egyptian prisons.
Inhumane detention conditions have long plagued Egypt’s prisons, adversely affecting prisoners’ rights to adequate medical treatment and health care.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that all persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.