Egypt's policeman sentenced to 15 years for killing activist

Policeman accused of killing leftist Egyptian activist Shaimaa al Sabbagh sentenced to 15 years in prison

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Cairo’s high criminal court has sentenced the policeman accused of killing activist Shaimaa al Sabbagh to 15 years in prison, a judicial source and state newspaper Al-Ahram have said.

Sabbagh, 32, was taking part in a peaceful march on January 24 of this year, commemorating the Egyptian revolution.

As a part of the peaceful leftist march a bed of roses was to be placed in Tahrir square, however police forces dispersed the march - causing the death of the young mother and injuring dozens of others.

The policeman, Yassin Hatem Salahedeen, had been charged in March with committing an action that "led to the death of" Shaimaa el Sabbagh, a lesser charge than murder.

The 24 year old police lieutenant was freed on bail after he was charged, but Judge Mustafa Hassan Abdullah in May ordered his detention in the trial's opening hearing.

Video clips spread on the internet show Sabbagh collapsing in a colleague's arms with her head, chest and back soaked in blood after a masked policeman fired birdshot in her direction.

Photos of Sabbagh’s bloody body angered many Egyptians, in addition to a forensics report which said her death was due to excessive weight loss.

The Egyptian ministry of the interior has constantly denied the use of birdshot in dispersing protests , despite much evidence showing otherwise.

Witnesses in the January 24 march said the police hampered efforts to save Sabbagh's life by preventing an ambulance from passing through their cordon.

A law was passed in December 2013 banning all street demonstrations without prior permit from the ministry of Interior.

TRTWorld and agencies