The Biden administration said Monday it is “disturbed” by reports that a prominent critic of Egypt’s government died in the custody of security forces after he was forcibly disappeared in February. Ayman Hadhoud died a month after his arrest, but his family only learned of his death in mid-April when they were asked to collect his body from a psychiatric hospital in Cairo. Authorities claimed he died of a chronic heart condition, but leaked photos of the body suggest Hadhoud had a broken skull and showed signs he was tortured before his death. On Monday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price responded to the reports.
Ned Price: “We are deeply disturbed by reports surrounding the death in custody of Egyptian researcher Ayman Hadhoud and allegations of his torture while in detention. The circumstances of his detention, of his treatment, of his death, we think, require a thorough, transparent and credible investigation without delay. We have made clear with — including with our Egyptian partners, that human rights are a priority.”
In January, the Biden administration said it would cancel $130 million in military aid to Egypt over human rights concerns. However, it made the pledge just days after the U.S. approved a far more massive weapons sale to Egypt worth $2.5 billion.