Three handed 2-year jail term for Tahrir memorial damage

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din, Ahram Online, Wednesday 22 Jan 2014

Three activists are sentenced to 2 years in prison for damaging the government-erected Tahrir Square memorial; court says one of the defendants is founder of the radical Black Bloc

memorial
People surround a reconstructed memorial to victims who died during the ousters of former Presidents Mohamed Morsi and Hosni Mubarak (Photo: Reuters)

A Cairo misdemeanour court sentenced on Wednesday three political activists to two years in prison for vandalising a memorial in Tahrir Square last November, a judicial source told Ahram Online.

One of the defendants, Sherif El-Serafi, is allegedly the founder of the Black Bloc group which championed violent opposition against the rule of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

The source did not reveal the political affiliation of the other indicted activists, Ahmed Abdel-Salam and Michael Botros.

Protesters opposed to both the transitional authorities that came to power after Morsi's overthrow as well as the deposed president's Muslim Brotherhood group, stormed Tahrir Square in November and spray painted anti-Brotherhood, anti-Mubarak regime and anti-military slogans on the memorial.

The monument -- partially built only one day before Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi was to inaugurate it -- was erected to commemorate all the martyrs that fell since the 25 January 2011 revolution. 

Some revolutionaries charged that the government's move to honour the martyrs was preposterous, since authorities are themselves to blame for the death of protesters, they said.

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