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Hundreds protest release of ‘killers’ of Egypt revolution icon, Khaled Said

Release of policemen found guilty of torturing and killing Khaled Said provokes protests outside courthouse, demanding purging of interior ministry and judiciary

Ahram Online , Saturday 1 Jun 2013
Khaled Said
An activist carries a picture of slain Khaled Said with Arabic that reads "Why was Khaled killed?" during a protest following a press conference for the family at the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate in Cairo, Egypt - 2010 (Photo: AP)
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Hundreds of protesters gather outside the Alexandria Criminal Court on Saturday to protest the release of the two defendants accused of killing Khaled Said - an iconic face of Egypt's revolution.

Some protesters hold banners that read: "We demand the purging of the judiciary and interior ministry," while others chant: "Don't cry, Khaled's mum, Khaled's killer will not live."

Earlier on Saturday, the Alexandria Criminal Court adjourned the retrial of the low-ranking policemen accused of killing Khaled Said to 6 July and ordered their release.

The court explains they must release them according to Article 143 of law 145, which sets a detention cap of 18 months.

"The real victory and success of the revolution is in retribution for Khaled Said, the icon of the revolution," Mahmoud El-Khateeb, leading member of April 6 youth movement in Alexandria told Al-Ahram Arabic news website, asserting that they will not be satisfied with any other punishment except the death penalty.

More events and protests will take place in Alexandria, Egypt's second-largest city, in the coming week to commemorate the anniversary of Said’s death, 6 June says El-Khateeb.

The retrial, which began on Saturday, comes after the two defendants, Mahmoud Salah Mahmoud and Awad Ismail Soliman filed an appeal in December, arguing particular witnesses were 'dealt with lightly,' according to Reuters. They are asking to repeal their seven-year jail sentences given by the Alexandria Criminal Court on 26 October.

The policemen were found guilty of illegal imprisonment and torture and violence. The family and supporters of the late 28-year-old Said were shocked at what they considered a light sentence.

According to Al-Ahram Arabic news website, families of the defendants attempted to attack Said's mother in the courtroom while the judges’ were deliberating the appeal.

Khaled Said's death caused a public outcry after photos of his battered face, allegedly at the hands of policemen from a notorious precinct, sent shockwaves throughout the internet. A call was sent out to protest in Tahrir Square on Cairo on National Police Day, on 25 January, 2011 via a Facebook page dedicated to his memory "We are all Khaled Said." This protest spiralled into a revolution, which succeeded in ousting former president Mubarak and end his 30-year rule.


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