Egypt court to try policeman accused of killing tea vendor May 14

Saturday 30-04-2016 04:48 PM

An image of the workplace of the tea vendor murdered in Rehab neighbourhood on Apr. 19, 2016. ASWATMASRIYA/ Mohamed Atef

CAIRO, Apr. 30 (Aswat Masriya) - The Cairo appeals court has set the date to try a policeman accused of killing a tea vendor earlier in April to May 14.

The low-ranking policeman, Zeinhum Abdel Razek, is facing charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder, according to the court.

Earlier in April, the low-ranking policeman shot dead a tea vendor and injured two more people, in the upscale suburban neighbourhood of Rehab, after a quarrel over his refusal to pay for a cup of tea.

Shortly after the incident,  the interior ministry said the policeman fired the shot after a stand-off between him and the vendor "over the price of a drink."

On Apr 27, Egypt's top prosecutor referred the low-ranking policeman to the criminal court.

Human rights workers, activists, and ordinary citizens have largely scrutinised police brutality in Egypt over the past few months. The interior ministry, however, maintains that these are "isolated incidents" that do not reflect the entire ministry. 

On Feb. 18, a policeman shot dead a driver in the al-Darb al-Ahmar neighbourhood over the cost of loading goods.

The incident also sparked public outrage at the police and hundreds took to protest in Cairo's streets after the killing, in an expression of anger that has become rare in the past few years. 

Police brutality was one of the triggers of the Jan. 25, 2011 Uprising, sparked by protests on Police Day in Egypt aimed to draw attention to the police's use of excessive, at times fatal, force.

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