CAIRO: The appeals court refused Saturday the appeal tendered by first lieutenant Mohamed el-Shenway against his three year prison sentence.
Shenawy, known as “the eye sniper”, is accused of shooting bullets at protesters’ eyes and attempting to murder six protesters during the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes in November 2011.
Cairo Criminal Court, which issued the verdict in 2013, said the verdict rationales that the officer exceeded protocol.
The court based its verdict on videos circulated on the internet that depict the officer deliberately shooting bullets at protesters’ eyes.
On Nov. 19, 2011, clashes broke out between protesters and Central Security Forces on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, near Tahrir Square. The deadly clashes lasted for five days.
The 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud clashes occurred in response to police and Central Security Forces’ brutal attack on a peaceful sit-in in Tahrir Square. Most of those in the sit-in were families of victims and individuals who had sustained injuries by the hands of security forces during the 18 days of protest during the January 25 Revolution. The protesters were demanding compensation and support from the post-revolution government.
On Nov. 19, the CSF brutally dispersed the sit-ins with tear gas, birdshot and rubber and live bullets. Two were killed and dozens injured in the dispersal. More than 40 were killed in the ensuing five days of clashes between protesters and security forces, and over 3,000 injured.
The clashes came just days before Egypt’s first post-revolution parliamentary elections, scheduled to begin Nov. 29. At the same time, the country was waiting for the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, charged with the country’s administration after Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, to set a date for presidential elections. As the casualty toll rose in Mohamed Mahmoud, SCAF set a date: June 2012.
During the violence, many protesters suffered eye injuries, which led to accusations that security forces were intentionally targeting protesters’ eyes with rubber bullets. In one video that was widely circulated on social media sites, an officer is heard congratulating a police officer: “In his eye! It was in his eye! Bravo, my friend!”
In December 2011, Lieutenant Mahmoud Al- Shenawy, also known as the “eye sniper,” turned himself in.
31-year-old dentist Ahmed Harara became an icon for supporters of the January 25 Revolution, condemning violence by police and Central Security Forces. Harara lost one eye during the revolution and the other during the 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud clashes.
Unknown protesters bandaged the eye of one of the lions flanking the Qasr el-Nil bridge, which leads from Tahrir Square to the Cairo Opera House; the image became an icon.
In response to the events on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, clashes broke out in several other cities across Egypt. Tahrir Square remained closed due to sit-ins until protesters decided to open the square on Dec 10, 2011.