Egyptian protester "Sambo" sentenced to five years

Ahram Online, Thursday 15 Sep 2011

The iconic Sambo, a hero of the revolution, has been sentenced to five years in prison by a military tribunal

Egyptian protester "Sambo
Egyptian protester "Sambo

Egyptian protester Mohamed Gad, who became famously known as ‘Sambo,” has been sentenced to five years in prison by a military tribunal today.

The news was announced by the official Facebook page of the "No to Military Trials for Civilians" group which has been calling for the end of military trials for civilians since Mubarak stepped down.

Sambo, a 26-year-old from Sharabia, Cairo, was arrested for participating in clashes between the families of martyrs and police forces at the Baloon Theatre and Tahrir Square on 28 June, and was dubbed a hero for protecting the protesters from attacks by the security forces.

Sambo was accused of forcibly taking the weapon of one of the security forces attempting to control the clashes. An iconic photo with Sambo holding a firearm on the day was widely circulated on the net.

However, activists supporting Sambo insisted that he did not intend to take possession of the firearm and actually returned it to the Omar Mosque servant in Tahrir Square on 29 June.

Despite several solidarity protests held in support of Sambo, he was sentenced today.

Military trials have become a thorny issue between revolutionaries and the ruling military council, with 12,000 civilians transferred to military trials since Mubarak was ousted in February.

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