Egyptian activist dies ‘after torture’

Updated 05 February 2013
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Egyptian activist dies ‘after torture’

CAIRO: An Egyptian activist who slipped into a coma following days in police custody died yesterday, the Health Ministry and his party said, setting off a storm over police brutality in the new Egypt.
Mohammed Al-Guindi, 28, went missing last month after joining protests demanding change on the second anniversary of Egypt’s uprising against former president Hosni Mubarak.
According to the health ministry he was brought to Cairo’s Al-Helal hospital by ambulance on Jan. 28 — three days after he went missing — unconscious and suffering from internal bleeding.
Activists detained with Guindi and later released said he had been taken to a police camp and subjected to torture, his mother Samia told the private Al-Nahar satellite channel.
The Popular Current, to which Guindi belonged, said in a statement the activist died “as a result of torture.”
A preliminary medical report showed that he suffered beating with hard objects, broken ribs and electric shocks, activists said.
Photos of Guindi, his face bruised and battered, lying on a hospital bed have been circulating on social media networks.
Tributes have poured in for Guindi on Twitter and Facebook, with activists dubbing him the “new” Khaled Said, an Egyptian man who was beaten to death by police in 2010 and who became a symbol of the fight against police brutality.
Hundreds of people turned out for Guindi’s funeral prayer, which was held in Tahrir Square.


Egypt’s parliament passes law to fine aggressive touts

Updated 2 min 43 sec ago
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Egypt’s parliament passes law to fine aggressive touts

CAIRO: Egypt’s parliament has passed a law that would impose fines on overly aggressive touts as part of efforts to revive the country’s tourism sector.
The law approved this week would impose a fine of up to 10,000 pounds ($567) on anyone found to have pestered tourists “with the intention of begging or promoting, offering or selling a good or service.”
Visitors to the pyramids at Giza and other major historical sites in Egypt are routinely harassed and followed by young men offering tours, souvenirs, carriage or camel rides. Scams are common, and the tourism police rarely intervene.
Egypt’s vital tourism sector has struggled through years of unrest since the 2011 uprising.