Cameraman of 'eye sniper' video gives testimony in court

Ahram Online, Monday 10 Sep 2012

Egyptian who filmed clashes in Cairo last November tells criminal court that police officer was congratulated by colleagues for shooting protesters in the eyes

Mohamed Sobhy El-Shenawy
A snap shot of police officer Mohamed Sobhy El-Shenawy

Police officer Mohamed Sobhy El-Shennawy aimed directly at the eyes of protesters during last November's Mohamed Mahmoud Street clashes, stated eyewitnesses and Ahmed Said Mokhtar, the cameraman behind a widely-circulated video recording the event, at a Cairo criminal court, Monday.

Mokhtar informed the court that a soldier congratulated El-Shennawy when a protester was seen to receive injuries to his eyes, telling him "way to go... it hit his eye." Mokhtar added that he managed to record the entire scene using his mobile phone camera.

Eyewitnesses further asserted that plainclothes police officers threw rocks at those protesting.

El-Shennawy is facing charges of attempted murder of five victims, whose eyes he deliberately targeted with a shotgun loaded with birdshot. The accused was identified after Mokktar's video of him gunning down demonstrators was disseminated on the internet.

Forty civilians were killed during the November clashes between police and unarmed protesters on the flashpoint street adjacent to Tahrir Square.

Many were reported to have suffered from wounds to the upper face, some lost their eyes such as well-known activist Ahmed Harara, whose left eye had already been severely damaged on 28 January during the 18-day uprising.

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