Amnesty International today urged the Egyptian authorities to order security police to stop harassing and intimidating the family of a man allegedly tortured to death in detention after being arrested in connection with the 1 January bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria. Sayyed Bilal was detained in Alexandria on 5 January by State Security Investigations (SSI) officers, and was dead by the next day. His family filed a complaint with the public prosecutor in Alexandria alleging that he was tortured to death, and have since been reportedly threatened by the SSI officers with detention and deaths of further family members.
“Both the death of Sayyed Bilal and the reported threats against his family are very disturbing developments and point to a continuing pattern of unlawful behaviour by the SSI, which has long been accused of using torture,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“The Egyptian authorities must take immediate measures to protect the family, ensure an independent investigation into Sayyed Bilal’s death, and safeguard other detained suspects from torture or other ill-treatment.”