Juvenile criminal court sentences defendants in 'Martyr of Chivalry' case to 15 years in prison

Ahram Online , Sunday 22 Dec 2019

The case stirred controversy in Egypt, with many calling for the murderers of Mahmoud El-Banna to be tried as adults and face the death penalty

Photo of the victim Mahmoud El-Banna

A juvenile criminal court in Shebin El-Koum, Menoufiya, sentenced Sunday 17-year-old Mohamed Rageh and two other defendants to 15 years in prison over the killing last October of 18-year-old Mahmoud El-Banna, popularly referred to as the "Martyr of Chivalry."

The court handed a fourth defendant a 5-year sentence.

The verdicts can be appealed.

The trial sessions began 27 October after Rageh’s age was verified.

Rageh’s age has stirred up controversy as many demanded that he and the other defendants be tried as adults so that they would be handed the death penalty.

They were, however, tried as minors in front of a juvenile criminal court since none of them had reached the age of 18 at the time of the murder.

In October, 18-year-old high school student Mahmoud El-Banna reportedly intervened to stop a group of boys – among whom was Rageh – from harassing a girl in the street.

Following the incident, El-Banna later posted a comment on social media saying, "It is not manly to beat a girl in the street."

That night, Rageh – armed with a blade – and two accomplices reportedly ambushed and attacked El-Banna in the street. According to eyewitnesses, the suspects stabbed El-Banna three times before fleeing the scene.

Following the stabbing, bystanders took the young man to hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Hashtags like #Execute_Rageh and #Rageh_is_a_murderer were trending on Facebook and Twitter following the incident, and media outlets had named El-Banna the "Martyr of Chivalry."

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