American found hanged in Egyptian jail
CAIRO — An American man who was arrested in North Sinai for violating curfew and detained for more than a month was found hanged in his jail cell, Egypt's interior ministry said on Sunday.
James Lunn was found “hanging on the bathroom door handle,” the ministry said.
A State Department official confirmed Lunn's death and said the agency is “providing appropriate consular assistance” to Lunn's family.
Lunn was described in Egyptian and other media as being 66 or in his 50s. Some reports referred to him as James Henry and described him as a retired army officer; Egyptian officials referred to him as James Henry Allen. Confusion about foreign names is common in Egypt, especially when they are transliterated from English to Arabic.
The State Department said Lunn was “not a (military) veteran.”
His U.S. address was not immediately known.
Lunn was arrested during an Aug. 27 security sweep of the volatile Sinai because a car was used to bomb a police station in Sheikh Zuwaid, near the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, the interior ministry said.
The ministry said Lunn possessed a “computer and maps of important installations.”
Egyptian media said Lunn was traveling to Gaza and called himself an “historical documentation enthusiast.”
He was transferred to a prison in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia.
“Embassy personnel had been in contact repeatedly with Egyptian authorities regarding his case” and in “regular touch” with Lunn, including several phone calls and a prison visit last week, the State Department official said.
Lunn never complained “that he had been subject to any mistreatment,” the official said.
On Saturday, an Egyptian prosecutor extended Lunn's detention for 30 days.
Lunn is the second foreigner to die in detention since a July 3 popular coup ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsy and led to a state of emergency and a curfew. In September, a French citizen who was arrested for violating the curfew was beaten to death in a Cairo jail by cellmates.
Betsy Hiel is Trib Total Media's foreign correspondent. Email her at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- FDA rule to require chain restaurants to post calorie counts
- No. 15 San Diego State hammers Pitt, 74-57
- DUI checkpoints take on dangerous drivers
- Mon Valley preparing for Small Business Saturday
- Steelers’ lookahead: New Orleans Saints
- Steelers cornerback Taylor ready to swap earpiece for helmet
- Roundup: Mazda recalls cars to fix tire pressure monitors; Wal-Mart’s top merchant out as key holiday nears; more
- Ehrhoff finding his way with Penguins
- Rostraver business site ordered to close
- Retailers that won’t open on Thanksgiving hope move pays off
- Lower gasoline prices fail to spur consumer spending