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15-year prison sentence handed to officer for killing Al-Sabbagh.

On 24 January, Al-Sabbagh was attending a peaceful memorial demonstration to the martyrs of the 25 January Revolution, alongside fellow Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP) members.

(Photo by Ahmed Abdeen)

A Cairo Criminal Court sentenced on Thursday police officer Yassin Salah Al-Din to 15 years in a maximum security prison on charges of beating activist Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh to death.

The Socialist Popular Alliance Party responded to the sentence in a statement saying that all members of the Ministry of Interior that participated in the killing of Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh, by giving orders and participating in the dishonesty surrounding the incident, should be tried. This includes the Minister or Interior, the statement added.

The party also called for the "political trial of the current regime for its oppressive laws, especially the ill-fated protest law".

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the charges on which Al-Din was sentenced are lesser charges than murder, for which the 15-year prison sentence was the maximum sentence allowed for the charge. Al-Din can still appeal the verdict at the Court of Cassation.

"The sentence against al-Sabbagh's killer would serve justice but past convictions of police have been reversed on appeal, meaning there has been zero accountability for killing protesters," the MENA director at HRW said in the statement.

HRW criticised the lack of accountability for other police officers for killing protesters over the past two years.

"Nor has there been any accountability for those in charge of Egypt's security forces, who are ultimately responsible for the widespread and systematic killings of protesters in Egypt over the past two years."

Al-Sabbagh was demonstrating along with tens of other protesters in Talaat Harb Square on 24 January 2015, when police decided to disperse the group using birdshots and tear gas. One of the police members fired a shot that killed Al-Sabbagh.

Later, the Justice Ministry's Forensic Medical Authority stated that Al-Sabbagh died of birdshot pellets that caused lacerations to her heart and lungs.

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Publication:Daily News Egypt (Egypt)
Date:Jun 12, 2015
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