Protesters clash with Mahalla police after teen allegedly beaten to death

Clashes erupted early on Wednesday morning between hundreds of angry citizens and security forces, after a teenager died at a checkpoint in Mahalla, Gharbiya governorate. His family accused police of beating him to death.

The outraged people tried to storm the Mahalla Police Department and some hurled stones at police. Gharbiya Security Directorate intensified security and cordoned the area around the department.

Seventeen-year-old Kareem Mohamed al-Sayed died at a checkpoint in the neighborhood of Abu Shaheen. His family accused police of beating him to death, an allegation which the police deny, saying he died of a heart attack.

A friend of the victim told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Sayed was riding a motorbike when a police captain stopped him at the checkpoint. Sayed’s friend said that the officer beat the victim’s chest, causing the motorbike to roll over, then other security personnel beat him to death.

The corpse was transferred to Mahalla Hospital for an autopsy, where people had gathered and hurled stones at the building.

A medical source at the hospital told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Sayed’s body had no signs of injuries or bruises that would have resulted from a physical assault. He added that the victim may have suffered from cardiac disease.

Police torture was a routine practice under the rule of ousted President Hosni Mubarak. The death of Khaled Saeed, a young man in his late twenties who was killed at the hands of police officers in 2010, was one of the triggers for the demonstrations that ousted Mubarak during the 25 January revolution.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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