Karim Hamdy was an Egyptian lawyer, a husband, and a father of two young children. He was killed inside the police station after he was tortured by the hands of the police officers two days after he was arrested. After his murder, his friends posted photos of his body from inside the morgue. Signs of torture were evident and according to news reports published at the time, El-Matarya police station had witnessed the death of 3 prisoners due to torture, neglect, or mistreatment inside the detention over the course of 3 days.
The autopsy of the body was done by a doctor in the Forensics Medicine Department inHazem Hossam El-Din Azmy. The final forensic report indicated signs of horrendous torture on different parts of his body. He died due to fractured ribs and internal bleeding of the brain caused by being hit with a solid object.
The correspondent at the Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a news report at the time of the incident: “The Ministry of Internal Affairs is facing a war with the terrorist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, and after this battle is finished everyone who made a mistake against police officers will be punished.”
The Prosecutor charged two National police officers with the murder of the young lawyer and another prisoner named Emad El-Attar, murdered inside the same police station. The 2 officers have denied committing the crime and confirmed that they went to the police station to hear the testimony of the accused Karim Hamdy, who was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood after he was arrested with possession of firearms. They said they did not assault him and left him at the station in good condition.
The next day, Sameh Ashour, head of the Lawyers’ Syndicate said that the Syndicate will not give up on Karim Hamdy’s case. Highlighting that despite political disagreement with him, this will not prevent the Syndicate from demanding justice for him as a lawyer and a citizen who should have received humane treatment during his arrest and should have been given a fair trial—not tortured to death.
According to the interrogation report of the Criminal Court in Cairo, held at the police academy on the 12th of September, 2015, Dr. Hazem Hossam El-Din Azmy, the forensics doctor in charge of the Karim Hamdy autopsy was questioned. An excerpt of the interrogation follows:
“Q: According to your report, every injury that the (defendant) had was enough to kill him on its own?
A: Yes, every injury is enough to cause death on its own—especially the chest injuries as it the fracturing of the ribs led to an erosion of the lungs, accompanied by severe bleeding within the chest that led to death. As well as the injury to the testicles, as a testicles injury on its own could cause death through a nervous shock that leads to the gradual slowing of the heart that leads to death. Not to mention only the injuries of the victim, but the pain of all the injuries combined on its own could cause a nervous shock that would lead to death.”
Three years later, the police officers responsible for the murder of Karim Hamdy were declared innocent on May 13th, 2018, by the Criminal Court in Cairo, held at the police academy and headed by Advisors Syed Abdel Aziz El-Touny, Omar Mahmoud Omar and Mohamed El-Anwar Mohamadeen. The two officers of the national police are set to be retried on charges of torturing Lawyer Karim Hamdy to death inside the police station at El-Matareya.