The corpse of medical student Ahmed Medhat was located at Cairo’s Zeinhom morgue on Tuesday, with his family claiming that he died in police custody.
An initial autopsy conducted at the morgue found that Medhat had suffered a fatal skull fracture and associated hemorrhaging. His family, suspecting police brutality, has moved to conduct a separate autopsy in the hopes of identifying the specific conditions which led to Medhat’s death.
Ahmed Saad Sabah, the family’s lawyer, he has also resorted to the office of the public prosecutor in order to open an official investigation into the conditions surrounding the student’s death, he told Al-Mal news.
According to family members, police arrested Medhat on Monday at around 8:30pm — they do not specify the location of his arrest — and took him into custody in an enforcement of a two year prison sentence. Medhet was sentenced in February 2016 on charges of taking part in an unauthorized protest the previous year.
Family members report that Medhat was sentenced in absentia, and thus a police force was deployed to arrest him.
Quoting Mohamed Medhat, the brother of the deceased medical student, the privately owned Yanair news reported that police had previously arrested Ahmed Medhat from his home on August 5, 2015 on charges of protesting without a police permit.
Following his arrest, Ahmed Medhat he was supposed to be present at the court’s sessions and sentencing but was not and was thus sentenced in absentia to two years imprisonment. He was in his final years of medical school at Ain Shams University.
“My brother died at 11:30pm at the hands of Egypt’s policemen. His corpse was then transferred to the Zeinhom Morgue,” Mohamed Medhat said.
He added that, according to official accounts provided by the police, his brother had sustained an injury to the left temple of his skull after he tried to escape by jumping out of the police van. This, according to the police testimonies, resulting in bleeding and foaming at the mouth.
The family’s lawyer told the Al-Mal news portal that he is skeptical regarding this official account, particularly since Ahmed Medhat’s head did not bear any signs of bruising or scratches which would typically be associated with such a fall.
Before Medhat’s corpse had surfaced in Zeinhom Morgue on Tuesday, the father and brother of this deceased medical student reportedly went to Nasr City’s First Police Station in order to learn of his whereabouts – to no avail. Family members indicated that a police force was dispatched from this station in eastern Cairo to enforce the sentence of imprisonment which had been issued against him – as the enforcement of his prison sentence fell under their jurisdiction.
In another account of events, Yanair news, Al-Mal, and other local media outlets reported that the Ministry of Interior may even be linking the death of Ahmed Medhat to a raid on a prostitution ring in Nasr City.
In a statement attributed to the Ministry of Interior, several local news portals reported on Monday night that a unit from the Nasr City’s First Police Station had conducted a raid on a health club and spa – which allegedly operated a prostitution ring – located in this district of eastern Cairo. In the course of this raid a man reportedly sought to evade arrest by jumping from the second floor of this club – but instead plummeted to his death.
However, this statement does not mention the name of the victim in this incident.