Forensic authority spokesman dismissed after El-Sabagh ‘thinness’ comments

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Mar 2015

Shimaa El-Sabagh's party, the Socialist Popular Alliance, said that her death was premeditated murder after she was shot with birdshot on the fourth anniversary of the 2011 uprising

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)

A spokesman for the forensic authority has been dismissed in the wake of his comments on a slain activist who was shot dead two months ago, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported on Tuesday.

Hisham Abdel Hamid said activist Shimaa El-Sabagh, who was shot by a policemen with birdshot, died because she was "too skinny."

"She was not supposed to die…this is an extremely rare case," Abdel-Hamid told a news show on private television channel Sada El-Balad, explaining that birdshot rarely kills people from an eight meter distance.

Head of the forensics authority Mahmoud Ali urged all officials not to issue any explanatory statements concerning their work during investigations.

Meanwhile, the justice ministry began investigating the accuracy of Abdel Hamid's comments.

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 victims in Tahrir Square.

An Egyptian prosecutor imposed a media gag order on the case of the slain protester, elaborating that media reports about the murder of the 32-year-old activist may affect the course of investigations.

Last week, 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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