Sunday, May 22, 2011

First Death Sentence in the Egyptian Revolution

An Egyptian court handed today its first death sentence in absentia to a low-ranking policeman who was accused of killing 20 protesters and bystanders on the 28th of January during the Egyptian Revolution.

According to this report by Al-Ahram published on the 11th of March, Al-Zawya Al-Hamra, a working-class area in Northern Cairo, witnesses protests on the fateful January 28th as in many areas and cities around Egypt. It was the bloodiest day in the Revolution and so was it in Al-Zawya. Some of the martyrs were killed by said policeman and others were killed in the neighbourhood watch groups created to safeguard areas in the absence of policemen.

Mariam Makram Nazir, 16, was shot in the head while videotaping the protests. Sherif Shahat, 27, ventured out of his house to replace his motorcycle in a safe place. He was immediately shot and killed.

The martyrs were thus not trying to storm the police station as some people claim ... and even in that case policemen are only allowed to shoot rioters in the leg, and definitely not in the head, according to Egypt's laws. So some commentators' claim that they deserve to die because they tried to storm police stations is appalling and outrageous.

I fully support the death penalty in only two cases; premeditated murder and rape. The agony and grief the martyrs' families must be feeling could only be slightly absorbed with justice. I hope they find him soon and may all the killers be hanged and burn in hell.

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