Prosecution identifies police officer as killer of slain activist Sabbagh - statement

Tuesday 17-03-2015 09:14 PM
Prosecution identifies police officer as killer of slain activist Sabbagh - statement

Shaimaa al-Sabbagh (L), member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, takes part in a protest in downtown Cairo shortly before her reported death, on Saturday, January 24, 2015. ASWAT MASRIYA/Mohamed al-Rayi


CAIRO, Mar 17 (Aswat Masriya) - Investigation has revealed that killer of slain activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh is a police officer from the Central Security Forces, Egypt's top prosecutor announced on Tuesday.

Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat added in a statement that Sabbagh was killed due to sustaining a birdshot wound.

Sabbagh, who was a member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, was killed while protesting in Downtown Cairo on January 24, one day ahead of the fourth anniversary of the January 2011 uprising.  

The party said she was killed after sustaining birdshot and has accused the Interior Ministry of her killing.

Members of the party who staged the protest were also referred to trial for protesting without prior notice, and consequently violating the 2013 protest law, the prosector general said on Tuesday.

The prosecution referred the police officer responsible for Sabbagh's death to trial. He is accused of committing physical assault which led to the death of Sabbagh as well as injuring other protesters.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb was cited by state news agency MENA as saying that the prosecutor's decision to refer the police officer to trial "proves that no one is above the law" and that no one will escape punishment, if the "fair judiciary" finds them guilty. 

A day after her death, former Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said "we are committed to the results of the investigation," adding that if it is proven that a policeman is responsible for Sabbagh's death, "I will hand him in myself."

International watchdog Human Rights Watch commented on Sabbagh's death, saying that there is a need in Egypt "for an independent investigation into the authorities’ excessive use of force."  

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