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Egyptian lawyers seek to extend 5-year sentence of officers who tortured civilian to death

Ahram Online , Sunday 13 Dec 2015
Karim Hamdy
Lawyer Karim Hamdy (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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The Egyptian lawyers’ syndicate will file an appeal to extend the five-year prison sentence that was handed down to two national security officers who tortured a lawyer to death at Cairo's Matariya police station in February, the syndicate head said. 

The court found the two officers guilty of beating Karim Hamdy to death and of attempting to obtain a confession under duress.

"The sentence is insufficient and the appeal aims to upgrade the sentence to one of intentional killing, the charge which the prosecution raised when the case was referred to court," head of the lawyers' syndicate Sameh Ashour was quoted as saying by Ahram's Arabic website.

Lawyer Mohamed Othman, head of North Cairo’s lawyers’ syndicate, said that the sentence was a "victory for the rule of the law and a clear message to those in power to deal with citizens within the context of the law," Shorouk daily newspaper reported.

Othman also said that the sentence aims to abolish the practice of torture that some men in power use inside police stations, and that "fighting terrorism cannot be through such methods."

"Even though the duration of the sentence is not long, the important thing is the conviction," Othman said.

Hamdy died after he was tortured while in detention over accusations of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and participating in protests against the army and the police.

According to a forensic report, he sustained neck injuries and broken limbs, which caused pulmonary laceration. He suffered a cardiac contusion that caused internal bleeding, as well as bleeding and swelling of the testicles that caused him to go into shock.

The convicts were handed a first-degree sentence, which can be appealed by the defendants after the sentence details are issued and after the convicted are arrested or turn themselves in to the police.

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