Egyptian court sentences author and Saudi embassy attackers

Ahram Online, Sunday 26 Aug 2012

An Egyptian court hands out two controversial sentences: one for 74 suspects in attacks against the Saudi embassy and another against the author of a book on police brutality

Protesters by the Israeli embassy headed later to the Saudi embassy after a police car has reportedly ran over people and was heading there, 9 September 2011 (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Seventy-four accused of attacking the Saudi embassy during anti-Israel protests on 9 September were given a year suspended sentence by the Cairo criminal court on Sunday.

The demonstrators were accused of gathering illegally; assaulting or intimidating public servants; attacking police officers and security personnel; attempting to storm the Giza security headquarters; vandalising public property with terroristic intentions and wielding clubs and knives and creating a national security crisis.

Around 40 of the accused have prior convictions, several have criminal records (although during the Mubarak era opposition was enough to get arrested) and three are juveniles.

The court also gave a five-year sentence in absentia to ex-police officer Omar Afifi for inciting violence against police. Afifi fled the country to the US after penning the famous book So You Don't Get Hit on the Back of Your Neck regarding torture and police brutality in Egypt.

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