Amnesty calls for inquiry into death in Egypt police custody

An international rights group has urged Egyptian authorities to investigate the death of a Coptic Christian man who died in police custody, apparently of torture.

Amnesty International documented in a report released on Friday the death of a 43-year-old Gamal Aweida who was arrested on July 18 and held in Cairo's Mensheyet Nasir's police station over allegations of forgery. Hours later, police officers claimed that he committed suicide.

Amnesty, after speaking to family members and lawyers, found evidence that officers were implicated in torturing the man to death.

Najia Bounaim, Amnesty's North Africa campaigns director, says that "years of impunity have emboldened perpetrators of such abuses in Egypt, giving security forces free rein to torture and ill-treat detainees without fearing any consequences."

She said Egypt "must immediately open an investigation."