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Forensic authority investigated over El-Sabagh ‘thinness’ comments

Shaimaa El-Sabagh died from birdshot wounds because she 'had no fat' to protect her heart and lungs, a forensic authority spokesperson has said

Ahram Online , Monday 23 Mar 2015
Shaimaa el-Sabbagh
In this Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 photo, 32-year-old mother Shaimaa el-Sabbagh holds a poster during a protest in downtown Cairo (Photo: AP)

The justice ministry is investigating the accuracy of comments by a forensic authority spokesman who said a female activist died from birdshot wounds because she was “too slim.”

Shaimaa El-Sabagh, 33, was killed on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the January 25 revolution when police fired birdshot at a small group of protesters who planned to lay a wreath for the revolution’s martyrs in Tahrir Square.

Last week, the prosecutor-general charged a police officer with El-Sabagh's killing, accusing him of carrying out a "beating that led to death."

"The right decision will be taken upon investigation," a statement by the ministry of justice read.

Forensic authority spokesman Hisham Abdel-Hamid said El-Sabagh had "no fats, so [birdshot] pellets easily penetrated her heart and lungs causing her death."

"It is impossible that small birdshot pellets from an eight-metre distance would kill… but this was her fate," Abdel-Hamid told a news show on private television channel Sada El-Balad.

The prosecution said investigations revealed El-Sabagh died from wounds sustained from "light birdshot" after a central security forces officer shot at her and other protesters.

Her party, the Socialist Popular Alliance, accused the police of "premeditated murder." Police officials initially denied that security forces played a role in El-Sabagh's death.


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