Protesters took to the streets across the nation as activists demonstrated against the alleged murder of 28-year-old Khaled Saeid in Alexandria on June 6. Saeid was allegedly beaten to death by two police officers.
The Ministry of Interior released a statement to state-owned daily Al Ahram denying the allegations of murder; the ministry report claimed that Saeid swallowed a bag of narcotics when he saw police officers approaching and choked to death on the bag.
Eyewitnesses, however, told local media that Saeid was dragged out of an internet café by two police officers and beaten to death in the street. Independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that Saeid’s family alleged that he was murdered for filming the two officers splitting the profits from a drug bust.
Photos of Saeid’s severely bruised body, reportedly taken at the morgue, have circulated on the internet, fueling public outrage and street protests in Cairo and Alexandria throughout. In Cairo, police blocked two different demonstrations, arresting tens of protesters and later releasing them the same day.
On June 15, Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud ordered a new autopsy on Saeid’s body. The new autopsy report, announced June 23, said the cause of death was asphyxiation due to the presence of a foreign body, identified as cannabis leaves wrapped in a plastic bag, blocking the airways; there were minor injuries consistent with blunt force trauma, however, they were not severe enough to cause death. The report also claimed that the morgue picture of Saied was taken after the first autopsy, explaining the cuts on his face and neck.
Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that the lawyer for the victim’s family claimed that 11 objections to the first autopsy report were not taken into consideration for the second report and that the family will appeal the second autopsy report