Policemen to be summoned for activist's killing – prosecution statement

Sunday 25-01-2015 10:47 AM
Policemen to be summoned for activist's killing – prosecution statement

CAIRO, Jan 25 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt’s top prosecutor ordered summoning police personnel involved in the dispersal of the protest, in which activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was killed, a statement from the prosecutor’s office said on Sunday.

Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat ordered an “immediate and extensive” investigation into Sabbagh’s killing, the statement read.

The prosecution has taken steps to identify the number of police personnel who participated in the dispersal and the type of weapons used.     

Sabbagh, who was a member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party (SPAP), was killed while security forces dispersed a protest in downtown Cairo on Saturday.

The party said she sustained a birdshot wound during the protest, dying shortly after being transferred to hospital.   

After Sabbagh’s body was inspected, prosecutors concluded that birdshot penetrated her back, leading to her death. The remains of some of the birdshot were extracted from her body.

Interior Ministry Spokesman Hany Abdel Latif told a private-owned satellite channel on Saturday that security forces did not fire gunshots at this protest. He said gunshots were fired by a group of protesters who were caught on tape carrying rifles.

He added that security forces only fired two teargas canisters.

SPAP said five of its members, including its secretary general were arrested. Meanwhile, state-run MENA said six individuals were arrested.

The protest in which Sabbagh lost her life was organised one day before the fourth anniversary of the 2011 uprising, which toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

SPAP said the protest, held in Downtown Cairo’s Talaat Harb Sqaure, was organised to commemorate the anniversary, with party members reiterating the demands raised during the uprising.

In anticipation of protests, security measures across Cairo have been heightened, specifically around major squares. Army forces maintained their shutdown of Tahrir Square for the second day in a row on Sunday.

Tahrir square, located in Downtown Cairo, is considered one of the symbols of the uprising.

Military vehicles have been situated at the entrances of the square and on roads leading to it, MENA reported.

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