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Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Egypt's top appeals court jails policeman for seven years for killing activist in 2015

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Wednesday 1 Jul 2020
Shaimaa El-Sabbagh
Shaimaa El-Sabbagh
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Egypt's top appeals court issued on Wednesday a final seven-year prison sentence against a police officer who killed an activist during a 2015 demonstration.

Shaimaa El-Sabbagh, a 32-year-old mother who belonged to the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, was shot dead by an officer who fired birdshot to disperse a protest in downtown Cairo on the fourth anniversary of the 25 January Revolution.

First lieutenant Yassin was initially sentenced to 15 years in prison in June 2015 for “an action that led to the death” of El-Sabbagh. The ruling was later overturned by the Court of Cassation, which ordered a retrial in February 2016.

Hatem was then sentenced to 10 years in prison by a criminal court in June 2017. On Wednesday, however, the Court of Cassation reduced the sentence to seven years. This sentence is final and cannot be appealed

Prosecutors argued that Hatem had acted with the intention of harming demonstrators by loading his shotgun with birdshot, showing a disregard for the lives of others.

The officer fired birdshot at demonstrators from a distance of eight metres, which immediately killed El-Sabbagh.

The killing of El-Sabbagh, who was protesting peacefully, sparked public outcry at the time, prompting President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to vow to bring her killer to justice.

Egypt banned unsanctioned protests in 2013 amid unrest that followed the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

 

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