The Egyptian interior ministry said Monday that the death of a 13-year-old boy after alleged police torture was due to natural causes and suggested that burns on his body were accidental.
A ministry source who asked not to be named said that a preliminary medical examination of Mohammed Mamduh Abdel Aziz's body showed that he had died from a pulmonary infection.
Aziz died in hospital in the Nile Delta town of Mansura Sunday, four days after police brought him there because he lost consciousness while in their custody on a theft charge.
His family immediately filed a complaint against police, claiming that they tortured him to death.
The source quoted Mohammed's elder brother Ibrahim, currently serving time for possessing a knife, as saying that burns on his brother's body were due to an electrical cable accidentally falling on him six months earlier.
A legal source said that the public prosecutor had ordered a full autopsy of Mohammed's body.
The legal source, who also asked not to be named, said Sunday that the boy had lost consciousness during his six days in police detention, apparently after being violently beaten.
On Wednesday, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights said that it has documented 567 cases of torture in police custody of which 167 resulted in death since 1993.
The report was based on individual testimonies, legal cases, and medical and autopsy reports and included 26 cases of police torture recorded this year alone, which resulted in three deaths.
According to London-based Amnesty International, torture in detention is systematic in Egypt and, in the majority of cases, the perpetrators are not brought to justice.
Last Mod: 14 Ağustos 2007, 14:30