Mohammed Abbas Hamza Al-Batran
General Mohamed Al-Batran, 56 years old, was in charge of all prisons in Egypt. On the evening of Thursday, January 27th, he was informed about a riot among prisoners at Fayoum prison. He went directly to the prison and managed to lock up the prisoners and restore order.
As it was revealed later, the release of prisoners was part of the counterrevolution intending to intimidate the ِEgyptian people. As a patriotic police general, Al-Batran was committed to preventing this from happening and did his utmost to try to keep the prisons secure.
Several sources mentioned that on Saturday morning, January 29th, Major General Al-Batran called his sister Dr. Manal Al-Batran and told her, “Habib Al-Adly wants to set fire to all of Egypt.” At 6:00 pm the same day, Al-Batran had been informed that there was a rebellion among prisoners in Al- Qata prison located on the edge of the delta, he immediately went to Al-Qata.
While he was trying to negotiate with the prisoners to end the riot a clash broke out between the General and Colonel Issam al-Buzrati, who killed one of the prisoners. The general said to him, according to the testimony of the prisoners, “How could you kill a prisoner? You will be interrogated and I will do that myself!” He ordered all officers not to shoot and then began a dialogue with the prisoners. He quietly persuaded them to get back to their cells, but minutes later a bullet came from one of the watchtowers and General Al-Batran was shot dead.
One of the prisoners who was among the witnesses said in his testimony to Amnesty International: “The riots started in the prison, the officers opened fire on us and a number of prisoners were wounded. When Major General Al-Batran arrived, he intervened to calm things down and succeeded. He ordered a cease-fire and transferred the wounded prisoners to the hospital—but they killed him from above. The bullet came from the direction of the watchtower. ”
The forensic report of Al-Batran’s body stated that his death was caused by a bullet wound to the right side of the chest with an exit hole in the middle right of his back. The injury came from a single-shot shotgun and the direction of fire was at an angle that indicated the shot came from on high. (?)
Dr. Manal al-Bataran, Al-Batran’s sister, accused colonels Jihad Halawa and Issam al-Basrati of killing her brother and asked for an inspection of Al-Qata prison.
Dr. Manal Al-Batran said that her brother was deliberately killed by these two colonels. When the investigation into the case was initiated and submitted to the Attorney General, the renovation of the prison began to obliterate all evidence and traces of the murder including the shots fired into the prison walls, blood, and fingerprints. The final conclusion of the Public Prosecution’s investigation was unknown if a crime had been committed.
A report by the Egyptian Human Rights Organization (EOHR) regarding the opening of the prisons on the night in question, revealed that Gen. Mohammed Al-Batran was killed on Jan. 29th by a bullet that came from the watchtower.
The report was released in a press conference organized by Hafez Abu Esada, head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, and stated that the security officers of Al-Qata prison are responsible for firing shots at Al-Batran.
[The case was turned to court, which preserved the case and when the family of Major General Al-Batran appealed the crime was recorded against unknown.]
The case was turned over to the court which adhered to the previous judgment. Upon appeals by Major General Al-Batran’s family, the crime was recorded as an unlawful killing by an unknown assailant.