CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian man who was beaten and dragged naked by riot police during a violent protest changed his story on Sunday, telling prosecutors that security forces harmed him — a day after he accused protesters of undressing and assaulting him.
The beating was caught on camera by The Associated Press, and the video was broadcast live on Egyptian television late Friday as protests raged in the streets outside the presidential palace. The AP video showed police trying to bundle the naked man into a police van after beating him.
The beating prompted a rare statement of regret from the Interior Ministry, which promised to investigate the attack. The president's office said it was pained by the images and called the assault "shocking."
A new video emerged online Sunday of Hamda Saber in a hospital bed telling activists that police apologized for any wrongdoing. A male and female are heard urging him to speak honestly and not to accept any payments for absolving police in any abuse.
Saber was receiving treatment at a police hospital when he told prosecutors that protesters undressed him during clashes, denying police assaulted him. Later, speaking in a telephone interview to the Egyptian satellite channel al-Hayat, Saber said he changed his story to blame police after pressure from family and friends.
State prosecutors have since moved him to a public hospital.
"I said police are the ones who beat me," Saber tells the TV presenter. "By the time I reached the armored car, they had undressed me and my pants and were still dragging me."
On Sunday a 20-year-old man wounded in Friday's clashes died in a hospital. He was the second to die from the violence that night. The Health Ministry said both were shot in the head and chest.
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