Egyptian court sentences police officer to 15 years in prison over killing woman protester

An Egyptian court on Thursday convicted and sentenced a police officer to 15 years in prison over the killing of a female protester during a peaceful demonstration in Cairo in January — a slaying that shocked many Egyptians.

CAIRO — An Egyptian court on Thursday convicted and sentenced a police officer to 15 years in prison over the killing of a female protester during a peaceful demonstration in Cairo in January — a slaying that shocked many Egyptians.

The Cairo Criminal Court ruled against 24-year-old police lieutenant Yassin Hatem Salahedeen, charged with manslaughter over the death of 32-year-old activist Shaimaa el-Sabbagh. The ruling can be appealed.

The killing struck a nerve with many Egyptians and stoked anger over perceived brutality of the police.

Video footage of the incident showed el-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. A voice was heard in the videos, commanding: “Fire.”

Authorities initially denied that police had any involvement in her death.

Salahedeen addressed the court before the verdict was handed down, denying responsibility for el-Sabbagh’s killing and saying he had no gunshots in his weapon.

“We had no gunshots. We were there for security, not to kill anyone,” he said. “This is our job.”

Rights lawyers and witnesses have said the police hampered efforts to save el-Sabbagh’s life by preventing an ambulance from passing through the cordon.

El-Sabbagh and a small group of demonstrators were marking the anniversary of the Jan. 25, 2011, uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. During the uprising, nearly 900 protesters were killed by police.

In subsequent trials, almost all of the over 100 policemen involved and charged with the killings were acquitted, with judges citing shoddy investigations or lax evidence in the cases, which were largely probed by the police themselves.

The uproar over el-Sabbagh’s death prompted Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to urge an investigation. He suggested at the time that individual mistakes should not undermine public confidence in the police.

Egypr’s interior minister was subsequently replaced in a Cabinet shuffle.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta recorded a single-day record of over 57,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta hits daily record of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Central zone has administered 111,735 doses of the COVID-19

Alberta reported an additional 1,980 cases of COVID-19 Friday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer adds 37th death from COVID-19, active cases drop

Alberta Health identified an additional 1,980 cases of the virus province-wide

Kris Sturgess with Calgary Ghostbusters. (Photo from GoFundMe)
GoFundMe account salutes Red Deer prop builder

Kris Sturgess died unexpectedly April 28

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas talks with his players during a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match against Mexico's Cruz Azul at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Fernando Llano
Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Toronto FC coach Chris Armas returns to Red Bull Arena to face former team

Gymnastics Canada skipping Olympic qualifier because of COVID-19 concerns

Gymnastics Canada skipping Olympic qualifier because of COVID-19 concerns

Runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu speaks to the media at the opening news conference at the Canadian Track and Field Championships, in Montreal, Thursday, July 25, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
After pregnancy, injuries and a pandemic, Bishop-Nriagu finally hitting her stride

After pregnancy, injuries and a pandemic, Bishop-Nriagu finally hitting her stride

Lille's Burak Yilmaz, center, reacts with teammates after scoring during their French League One soccer match between Lille and Nice in Villeneuve d'Ascq, northern France, Saturday May 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Canada’s Jonathan David scores milestone goal as Lille moves 4 points ahead of PSG

Canada’s Jonathan David scores milestone goal as Lille moves 4 points ahead of PSG

Jean Carlo Salas of Costa Rica vies for the ball with Canada's Ian Bennett (right) during a CONCACAF Futsal Championship in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Wednesday, May 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-CONCACAF-Norvin Mendoza MANDATORY CREDIT
Canada denied a trip to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in penalty shootout loss to Panama

Canada denied a trip to the FIFA Futsal World Cup in penalty shootout loss to Panama

Canadian Stephen Ames one shot back of leaders at Regions Tradition

Canadian Stephen Ames one shot back of leaders at Regions Tradition

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson leaves the ice after defeating China at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Friday, May 7, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canada’s Einarson beats China 6-4, qualifies for playoffs at world curling playdowns

Canada’s Einarson beats China 6-4, qualifies for playoffs at world curling playdowns

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walks to a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday May 4, 2021. A broad coalition of MPs from all five parties wants the federal government to support waiving the global rules that guard vaccine trade secrets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
As MPs urge support, Trudeau demurs on whether government backs COVID-19 waiver

As MPs urge support, Trudeau demurs on whether government backs COVID-19 waiver

Most Read