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Egypt: Yet Another Case of Post-Revolution Torture

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

On the eve of the day Egyptians decided they will flock back to Tahrir Square to “reclaim their revolution,” shocking news added a further reminder why this revolution is far from over.

Al Nadeem Center for the rehabilitation of the Victims of Violence announced on its Facebook page:

as a punishment for his smuggling of a mobile sim card to his cell in Turah Prison, Essam Ali Atta who was sentenced to two years in prison by a military tribunal on February 25th, was brutally tortured via inserting water hoses in his mouse and anus. He was transported, without the knowledge of his parents, to the Qasr El Eini hospital were he died

The Facebook page of Egypt's famous martyr Khaled Said later published a photograph of Atta's corpse
and repeated claims that his death was the result of physical torture.

The news of Atta's shocking death caused an uproar on social media websites, particularly Twitter, where users anxiously followed the updates of lawyer Malek Adly as he went down to provide legal support for the family of the victim.

Adly reported on his account that he saw the body of Essam Atta and that it was:

أنا شفت جثمان عصام الله يرحمه مفيهوش إصابات بس هدومه متقطعه وبيجيب مياه من فتحات جسمه
@malekadly: I saw Essam Atta's body. He was not injured but his clothes were torn and there was fluid pouring from every opening in his body

He later tweeted that the official reason for his death:

قئ دموي حاد أدي لهبوط حاد ف الدوره الدمويه وتوقف عضلة القلب نتيجة تسمم غير معروف..دا الثابت ف المحضر 5537 إداري مصر القديمه
@malekadly: Vomiting blood that led to a circulatory failure and his heart stopped beating as a result of unknown poisoning. This is what's been written in report no. 5537 in the police district of Misr Al Qadima

Adly's tweets drove some tweeps like Adel Salib and Peter Ramzy to go down to the Zeinhom morgue, where the body was, to support Atta's family.

Activist Mona Saif, the coordinator of the No to Military Trials for Civilians group, provided more information about Atta's case:

Essam Ali Atta, 23, was sentenced to two years in front of a military tribunal. We were in the process of appealing this sentence but he died today as a result of torture.

Reactions on Twitter were mostly anger and frustration; tweeps created the hashtag #EssamAtta to express their frustration that a practice such as systematic torture still exists in post-revolution Egypt.

The incident came two days after the case of Khaled Said ended with a seven-year verdict against the informer and the police corporal responsible for his death. The verdict was seen by many as “too lenient” and blamed the judiciary system who treated the case as Second degree murder as a result of severe beating instead of a First-degree murder.

It seems that frustration with the performance of Egypt's ruling military council in leading the transitional period is mounting and some say that a confrontation is looming on the horizon.

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

Thumbnail image of Tahrir Square at the height of the 2011 revolution, by Flickr user Jonathan Rashad (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

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