Political parties condemn killing of activist El-Sabagh, call for 'thorough' investigation

Zeinab El-Gundy , Sunday 25 Jan 2015

Socialist activist Shaimaa El-Sabagh was killed near Tahrir Square while trying to commemorate the January 2011 uprising

Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh
Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh collapses as she was shot during a March by the party in Cairo Jan 24, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

The killing of leftist activist Shaimaa El-Sabagh at a march in Cairo has provoked widespread anger across the political spectrum.‎

While opposition figures agree that the death of El-Sabagh was a crime, some went as far as accusing ‎the police of deliberately killing her.

Some TV presenters, however, talked about conspiracy ‎theories in an attempt to absolve the police of responsibility for her death.‎

El-Sabagh was shot on Saturday when security forces dispersed a small march to Tahrir Square, organised by the Socialist Popular Alliance, to commemorate the January 25 revolution.‎

‎The party accused the ‎security forces of the premeditated murder of the 32-year-old.

‎"The commander of the police unit that dispersed the march where Shaimaa was ‎shot should be arrested. Period," said Nasser Amin of the National ‎Council for Human Rights.‎

The interior ministry maintains that the police did not shoot El-Sabagh.‎

The Popular Current, a leftist movement affiliated with Nasserist former presidential ‎candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, issued a statement on Saturday demanding the dismissal of ‎Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim and for an immediate ‎investigation into the "heinous crime."‎

Sabahi condemned the ‎‎"excessive use of violence" by the security forces and blamed the interior ministry for El-Sabagh’s death.‎

‎"It is unacceptable that four years after the great revolution innocent ‎Egyptians are killed for expressing their views peacefully," Sabahi said on his official ‎Facebook page.‎

He also demanded the release of those arrested at the march.

The killing of El-Sabagh highlights the agony some revolutionaries feel four years after the 2011 uprising.

For example, Mohamed ElBaradei, ‎the founder of Constitution party, wrote: "When will we understand that ‎violence is not the solution and that the nation has to be built on respect for the citizen."

The Constitution party announced that it would suspend all its activities for a week to ‎mourn El-Sabagh.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the liberal party also ‎demanded a thorough investigation into the killing and for those responsible to be held accountable.

It also called for reform of the interior ministry and for more respect for human rights.

Ahmed Emam, the official spokesperson for Strong Egypt, condemned the murder of Islamist activist Sondos Abu Bakr and Shaimaa El-Sabagh.‎

‎"The peacefulness of Sondos Abu Bakr and the flowers carried by Shaimaa El-Sabagh did not ‎stop the interior ministry from using ammunition against them," he added.

Last Friday, Sondos Abu Bakr, a 15-year-old supporter of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, was killed at a protest in ‎Alexandria after sustaining a birdshot wound. Her funeral was held in her ‎hometown in Beheira governorate on Saturday.‎

‎"The current regime asserts every day that it has no place for dissent of any kind. It has no place either for erstwhile supporters who don’t back its oppression," Emam added, noting that the Socialist Popular Alliance had supported the ouster of Morsi.‎

Meanwhile, the Conference party, which also supported Morsi’s ouster, condemned the killing El-Sabagh, but said the birdshot had been fired from an "unknown source.”‎

The party demanded an immediate investigation into the incident ‎and for the perpetrators to be arrested. It also called for patience and self-control from all parties ‎until the truth is revealed. ‎


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