Egypt court sentences officer to 3 yrs for torturing Salafist in 2011

Monday 28-03-2016 12:34 PM

Sayed Belal - archive photo

CAIRO, Mar 28 (Aswat Masriya) – An Alexandria court sentenced on Sunday a former state security officer to three years of rigorous imprisonment, on charges of torturing a Salafist to death, in a high-profile case that dates back to January 2011.

The former national security officer Osama al-Kennesy was among five others charged in the case. He was originally sentenced in absentia to 15 years for torturing to death Sayed Belal, a Salafist man whose death is seen as one of the sparks of the January 2011 uprising which saw the end of former president Hosni Mubarak's 30 year rule.

All other defendants in the case were acquitted.

Belal was arrested in January 2011 on allegations of involvement in the 2011 New Year's Eve bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria. He was arrested alongside several other Salafists, who are considered more conservative followers of Sunni Islam. The attack on the church claimed the lives of 23 people and injured dozens.

The State Security is a branch of the police, the name of which was later changed into National Security after the 2011 Uprising, amid public calls for police reforms.

More than five years after the uprising, Egyptian police are still under scrutiny for mounting abuses, most recently the killing of a mini-bus driver in the Darb al-Ahmar neighbourhood and reported assaults on doctors in their hospitals.


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