CAIRO — The owner of an Egyptian Internet cafe on Sunday said he witnessed police beating a young man to death and described the killing that has outraged rights activists.
Egypt's Interior Ministry has denied the allegations, claiming on Saturday that the 28-year-old was wanted by police and died after choking on a joint he swallowed when policemen sought to arrest him.
Activists say 28-year-old Khaled Said's death is an example of rampant abuses made possible by a three-decade-old emergency law they describe as a central tool of repression by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's regime.
In a filmed interview posted online Sunday by a leading opposition party, cafe owner Hassan Mosbah said two police officers came into his establishment in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, dragged Khaled Said out into the street and beat him to death there. "They took him as he struggled with his hands behind his back and banged his head against the marble table inside here," Mosbah said in an interview conducted by a journalist from the liberal opposition al-Ghad