Muslim Brotherhood accused of covering up torture 

Assad Elepty

Cairo: An Egyptian opposition group has accused the government of covering up torture at the hands of security forces.

The charge comes after a government forensic report claimed that 28-year-old activist Mohammed el-Gindy was killed in a car accident.

It contradicted family and friends, who say he died after he was electrocuted and beaten on his head repeatedly in detention earlier this month.

In a separate case, activists have also accused authorities of trying to conceal the identity and age of 12-year-old Omar Salah, killed by security forces' gunfire during clashes around Cairo's Tahrir Square on February 3. In El-Gindy's death, initially the justice minister, who oversees the state forensic authority, now said it was caused by a car accident.

But then the chief of the forensic authority denied the justice minister's statement and said the report was not final.

When the final report came out, it listed car accident as the cause of death, leading some to suspect foul play. Security officials now deny that they held him.

El-Gindy was a member of the Popular Current opposition group, which called the forensic report "fraudulent" and said on Wednesday it would challenge it.

"The Popular Current plans to pursue a legal complaint, charging that the forensic authorities have forged it, and will go after all those who took part in this crime," the statement said.

It said those people included President Mohammed Mursi and his interior and justice minister.

The group said it has its own medical reports prepared by doctors who saw el-Gindy in the hospital and morgue. It shows that el-Gindy was strangled, electrocuted on his tongue, and had a deep gash in the back of his neck. They claimed he was tortured during detention.

El-Gindy, who had taken part in anti-government protests that began last month, died February 4. Word of his death provoked violent protests in his hometown of Tanta northwest of Cairo.

In the case of the child killed, security officials had said they mistakenly killed a street vendor on February 3. Security officials did not report that the dead person was a 12-year-old and didn't record the case in hospital records or allow a forensic report, according to activists who compile data from visits to hospitals, morgues and police stations.

Security officials had no comments about Salah's case. Attempts to reach the spokesman for the Interior Ministry were unsuccessful.

The two deaths came during a heavy-handed crackdown by security forces on protesters that had the opposition charging that police had returned to the repressive tactics used under the ousted regime of autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Nearly 70 civilians were killed in the wave of clashes that began around the second anniversary of Egypt's uprising on January 25. Violence has been tapering off but there are still sporadic clashes.

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