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Prosecution summons brother of researcher who died after 2-month disappearance

Omar Hadhoud, the brother of economic researcher Ayman Hadhoud who was discovered on Saturday to have died in custody at a psychiatric hospital one month earlier, was summoned on Monday for questioning by the Public Prosecution, he told Mada Masr.

Ayman Hadhoud’s family says that he was forcibly disappeared in early February. Though the researcher died in March, they were only informed of his death in custody at a psychiatric hospital on Saturday. An autopsy was not ordered until Sunday.

The family viewed the researcher’s body in the mortuary at the hospital on Sunday before it was sent for autopsy at the Zeinhom morgue.

“We strongly suspect that Ayman was killed,” Omar told Mada Masr, adding that the family concluded after seeing the body that he had died more than a month ago. The family tried to photograph the body, said Omar, but hospital staff forced them to delete the photos.

According to Omar Hadhoud’s lawyer, the head of the Nasr City prosecution office told his client that the summons was issued on Monday in order for the prosecution to ask him questions about the incident and to clarify whether he intends to press charges.

Omar Hadhoud told Mada Masr on Monday that he fears he will be detained after having spoken to the media about the incident.

The head of the National Council for Human Rights demanded in a Monday statement that the Public Prosecution investigate the claims that Hadhoud was subjected to enforced disappearance before his death.

Ayman Hadhoud, who was a member of the liberal Reform and Development Party, went missing on February 5. His family was informed by a member of the police force that he was detained at a site at Amiriya Police Station belonging to the National Security Agency, his brother said.

A week later, the family learned that he had been transferred to Abbasseya Psychiatric Hospital to be placed under observation for 45 days.

Despite the family’s repeated requests to see Hadhoud over recent weeks, Omar Hadhoud said the Public Prosecution and other security authorities had denied knowledge of his whereabouts until the police informed the family of his death on Saturday night.

The Interior Ministry denied on Sunday that the researcher was forcibly disappeared, but offered an account of his arrest that contradicted what is said in his hospital records, according to the family, who dismissed both stories.

The National Council for Human Rights is due to hold an emergency session today to investigate the circumstances of Hadhoud’s death, council member Georges Ishaq told Mada Masr on Sunday.

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