NCHR expresses solidarity with killed activist and lawyer

The National Council for Human Rights expressed solidarity with the case of Shaimaa al-Sabagh, an activist killed by the police in January during protests, as well as the case of lawyer Karim Hamdy, who has been recently tortured to death in Mattariya Police Station.
A delegation from the Lawyers Syndicate met with Prosecutor General Hesham Barakat to discuss investigating the killing of Hamdy and the lawsuit filed against the interior minister over the incident.
The meeting of the National Council for Human Rights witnessed disagreements over the possibility of creating a department that would be dedicated to providing legal expertise for victims.
Board member Hafez Abu Se'da expressed fear of accusing the council of being "politicized" due to taking interest in certain human rights cases and ignoring others. He told Al-Masry Al-Youmhe called on the council to amend its internal regulations and establish a department that would provide legal expertise to defend the victims of human rights violations.
Head of the Lawyers Syndicate, Mohamed Othman, said the delegation of lawyers who met with Barakat submitted a list of lawyers who would take charge of the lawsuit filed against the interior minister over Hamdy's death. Barakat emphasized his respect for lawyers and their role as an essential partner in achieving justice, adding that the prosecution is keen to complete the investigations with the utmost transparency and neutrality regarding the incident.
Othman told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the delegation thanked the prosecutors in the case for the actions they took to prevent tampering with the evidence, as well as for questioning 15 witnesses in the incident. 
Hamdy, a 28-year-old lawyer, had been arrested over alleged affiliation with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and involvement in anti-government protests. While officers at the Matariya Police Station said Hamdy was asphyxiated due to the congestion inside the cell, the initial forensic reports stated his body was covered in bruises and blood clots, suggesting possible physical torture. Two security agents were remanded into custody over suspicions of torturing the victim.
Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was killed in downtown Cairo during a peaceful symbolic march to Tahrir Square to commemorate the martyrs of the revolution. Activists hold the police responsible for her death, while the Interior Ministry denied involvement or summoning any police officer for investigation into the case.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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