Luxor criminal court (Al-Ahram)
A Luxor criminal court sentenced a police officer to seven years in prison and five other low-ranking police officers 3 years in prison on Tuesday for torturing a man to death in a police station in Luxor governorate.
The same court acquitted three police officers and four conscripts in the death of papyrus vendor Talaat Shabeeb. Police officer Samir Hany and the five low-ranking policemen found guilty Tuesday were charged with beating Shabeeb to death following his arrest.
The court ordered the minister of interior to pay EGP 1.5 million compensation to Shabeeb's family.
The vendor's murder and subsequent denials of responsibility from the governorate's security directorate sparked protests in Luxor, Shabeeb's hometown.
The Luxor Security Directorate initially claimed that the 47-year-old father of four had fallen ill after he was arrested at a local café for possession of prescription painkillers. Shabeeb, who was accused by police of being a drug dealer with a criminal record, was transported to Luxor International Hospital, where he died.
Shabeeb's family denied the directorate's claim, saying that he was arrested because of personal feuds with police officers. The family released photos and a video of the deceased man's body that showed signs of torture.
Torture is outlawed in Article 52 of Egypt's 2014 constitution. The article states that "torture in all its forms is a crime without a statute of limitations."