Court reduces sentence of police officer who killed Shaimaa al-Sabbagh from 15 to 10 years in prison
Courtesy: Shaimaa al-Sabbagh Facebook Page

South Cairo Criminal Court ordered the arrest of Central Security Forces officer Yassin Hatem Salah on Monday for killing protester Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, sentencing him to 10 years in prison.

Sabbagh, a member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, died near downtown Cairo’s Tahrir Square during a peaceful street rally on January 24, 2015, after Salah shot her in the back at close range.

In February 2016, the Court of Cassation annulled a 15-year sentence handed to Salah in June 2015 by Cairo Criminal Court for intentionally using fatal force, and ordered that he be retried by a new court, defense lawyer Mohamed Abdel Aziz told Mada Masr.

Monday’s 10-year verdict from the criminal court is final, according to Abdel Aziz. Although, lawyer Yasser Saad suggested it could still be appealed with the Court of Cassation.

Sabbagh was killed on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the January 25 uprising of 2011 during a protest organized by the Socialist Popular Alliance Party.

Police mostly used teargas canisters and birdshot to disperse protesters, but Salah fired his shotgun at close range, shooting Sabbagh in her back, and piercing her lungs and heart, according to the autopsy report.

Sabbagh’s death led to local and international criticism of the use of force by Egyptian police. In February 2015, Human Rights Watch issued a statement condemning Sabbagh’s murder, criticizing Egyptian police for their excessive use of violence to disperse peaceful protests.

Since her death, Sabbagh has commonly been referred to as the “Martyr of the Roses,” as she and her fellow protesters had been planning to lay a wreath of flowers in Tahrir Square in memory of protesters killed during the 2011 uprising.


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