Sunday, October 13, 2013

Egypt: Detained US citizen found hanged in police cell

(AFP) An American citizen detained by Egyptian police since August for breaking curfew has been found hanged in his cell in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya, Egyptian security officials said on Sunday.

An American found hanged in his police cell in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya on Sunday was believed to have committed suicide, Egyptian security officials said.

They said the body of James Henry, 55, who told authorities he was a "retired officer", was found at noon at Ismailiya Awal police station.

The US embassy in Cairo confirmed "that a US citizen prisoner in Ismailiya died from an apparent suicide."

"The embassy is in contact with authorities regarding the case and continues to provide all consular services," an embassy official told AFP.

Egyptian officials said Henry had been detained in August for violating a curfew imposed because of the latest wave of political unrest sweeping the country.

He was stopped on the road between El-Arish and Rafah in North Sinai and told authorities he was on his way to the neighbouring Gaza Strip.

Officials told AFP that a US embassy delegation had visited Henry in his cell last week.

His death comes a day after he was told that authorities were extending his preventative detention by another 30 days.