Egypt court upholds acquittal for 'protesters' in Shaimaa El-Sabagh case

Ahram Online , Saturday 24 Oct 2015

The 17 defendants were acquitted in May on charges of ‘illegally protesting’ during January’s peaceful march that witnessed the killing of El-Sabagh

Shaimaa el-Sabbagh
In this Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 photo, 32-year-old mother Shaimaa el-Sabagh holds a poster during a march in downtown Cair minutes before she was killed by a police officer (Photo: AP)

A Cairo court confirmed on Saturday an earlier decision to acquit 17 people who were charged with ''illegally protesting" as they took part in a peaceful march near Tahrir Square on 24 January.

In May, a court decision acquitted the defendants, however, the prosecution appealed the acquittal decision.

Socialist activist Shaimaa El-Sabagh was among the participants in the peaceful march that aimed to memorialise those killed during the 25 January uprising. The 32-year-old mother was shot dead while heading to Tahrir Square with two dozen other peaceful marchers.

The 17 defendants came forward to testify in investigations of El-Sabagh's killing, but were later charged by the general prosecution.

Fourteen of the defendants belong to the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, as di El-Sabagh, while three do not.

The prosecution previously said investigations revealed El-Sabagh died from wounds sustained from "light birdshot" that a Central Security Forces (CSF) officer fired at her and other protesters. The police officer was charged with “beating that led to death,” then found guilty in a court trial and sentenced to 15 years in prison. His sentence was appealed.

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