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Police officer acquitted of 'Friday of Rage' killing

Police officer found not guilty of killing two protesters on 'Friday of Rage' during Egypt's 18-day uprising

Ahram Online, Thursday 26 Jan 2012
Police face demonstrators in Cairo, Tuesday Jan. 25, 2011 (Photo: AP)

The Cairo Criminal Court has acquitted an officer accused of killing two protesters outside the Ain Shams police station in Cairo during the uprising that brought down Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak.

Prosecutors had accused Islam Hafez of killing protesters Mohamed Sayed and Rageb Mustafa on 28 January 2011, the so-called “Friday of Rage.”

The trial is the second to acquit police officers accused of killing protesters.

In December, a court acquitted four police officers and one non-commissioned officer of killing five protesters in the Sayeda Zeinab district of Cairo during the uprising. Additionally, several officers accused of killing protesters in Suez were released on bail in early January.

The lack of convictions for killing protesters – 846 people died during the 18-day uprising that began on 25 January 2011 – has been a running sore between the victims' families and the military council. The families have repeatedly complained that the accused officers are walking free.

They are also angry that the trials of police officers that have occurred have progressed at a snail's pace.

The decision to acquit the Sayeda Zeinab officers resulted in a call by some for "revolutionary courts" to try those accused of killing protesters.

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