Egypt’s prosecution rejects reopening probe over Ayman Hadhoud’s death

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Tuesday saw the Egyptian Public Prosecution reject requests to reopen the investigation into the mysterious passing of economic researcher Ayman Hadhoud. Early March, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, on behalf of the family of Hadhoud, asked the Public Prosecutor to reopen the investigation into his death.

According to the family’s lawyer, Fatima Siraj, the request was based on defects in previous investigations. The decision came after a discussion between Hudhoud’s family and the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, who needed to be convinced of the results of previous investigations. On April 18, the Public Prosecution decided to close the case.

Amnesty International said in a report in April that it had found that Hodhoud had been tortured shortly before his death. The group announced this after conducting an investigation that included interviews with witnesses and sources and an independent forensic expert’s analysis of the leaked photos of Hudhoud’s body.

It showed several photos that it had obtained of Houdoud’s body to Australian coroner Derek Pounder, who said that they showed marks on his forearms and the left side of his face, which, according to Pounder, strongly indicate that he had suffered several injuries before his death. “It is a shame that the Egyptian authorities continue to question the mental health of Ayman Hodhoud instead of conducting an effective investigation into the causes and circumstances of his death,” said Lynn Maalouf, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa office at the organization. “Why did the authorities take him into custody and deny him being in custody when he died more than a month ago under suspicious circumstances? These questions point to practices of torture and enforced disappearance.”