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Security forces in Qalyubiya Governorate on Friday arrested 20 people who had blocked the Cairo-Alexandria Agricultural Road the day before over the death of man they say was tortured, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The detainees are charged with blocking the flow of traffic and railway movement in the area, the ministry said.
Interior Minister Ahmed Gamal Eddin visited the area Thursday accompanied by some security leaders, including General Ahmed Salem Gad, head of the Qalyubiya Security Directorate.
Protesters had blocked the road and railways in Sharqaweya village for nearly nine hours, protesting what they said was the death of a citizen at Shubra al-Kheima Police Station in the governorate.
The family of the victim accused the police of torturing him until he died. But the Interior Ministry issued a statement saying the victim, identified as 32-year-old Sameh M.F., was arrested Wednesday for drug possession.
The ministry said he felt sick shortly after arriving at the police station and was transferred to a hospital, where he died.
Police torture of detainees was routine under the rule of former President Hosni Mubarak. The death of Khaled Saeed, a young man in his late 20s who was reportedly killed at the hands of police officers in 2010, was one of the triggers for demonstrations that ousted Mubarak during the 25 January revolution last year.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm