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Egypt Probes Video of Alleged Police Abuse of Bloodied Corpse

Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Egyptian officials are investigating three policemen seen in a Youtube video allegedly posing with the blood-soaked corpse of a man while laughing and placing a cigarette in his mouth.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim ordered the probe, the head of security in Qalioubiya province, Mahmoud Yosri, said today by phone. The circulation of the images comes as rights activists and groups such as New York-based Human Rights Watch say the nation’s security forces have been using the same abusive tactics employed under ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

The dead man was a criminal who was killed in an Aug. 26 shootout with police, and the image was filmed at a local hospital where the suspect had been taken after the incident, Yosri said.

Egypt has seen a surge in arbitrary arrests, detentions and “harrowing incidents of torture and deaths in police custody” and a sharp deterioration in human rights in Egypt in the year since President Mohamed Mursi was ousted by the army, London-based Amnesty International said July 3.

Last month, a video circulated on social media sites showed a prisoner lying on the floor and later dying after allegedly being beaten by security forces in a Cairo district police station.

Egyptian officials have repeatedly denied that the police torture detainees.

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net Karl Maier, Tony Czuczka

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