Officer convicted of killing  Shaimaa al-Sabbagh granted retrial
A photo capturing the killing moment of activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, Jan. 24, 2015 during a small march marking the 4th anniversity of 2011 uprising - YOUM7/Islam Osama

CAIRO: Egypt’s highest Appeal Court cancelled Sunday a prison sentence against an officer accused of killing a protesting political activist in 2015, and ordered a retrial, Youm7 reported.

Lieutenant Yassin Salah el-Din, 24, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in June 2015 over shooting birdshots at activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh during a peaceful protest commemorating the fourth anniversary of the January 25 Revolution at Talaat Harb Square in Cairo from a close range.

In a Sunday session, a prosecution the  belongs to the Cassation Court was considering an appeal filed by the 24-yr old officer against his prison sentence.

In his 2015 verdict, Officer Salah el-Din was accused of deliberately shooting at a number of protesters who were participating in what they called the “flowers march” where the protesters carried flowers in remembrance of their colleagues who died during 2011 protests.

Pictures that captured the final moments of activist Sabbagh while being carried by her friend dominated international news outlets at that time, while activists on social media were searching for the shooter in the videos.

The Interior Ministry had reiterated its denial to involvement of its officers in the killing and stated that the forces were not armed with birdshots at that time, however, the pictures revealed the contrary.

Few cases in which police personnel were accused of violence against civilians have made the cut to court, and an even smaller number end with convictions.

Two policemen were given five year jail terms in December 2015 over beating to death Lawyer Karim Hamdy who was in their custody.

On Dec.11, the Damanhour criminal court sentenced a police officer to five years in jail for the fatal torture of inmate in Rashid police station in May. Meanwhile, five low-ranking officers were jailed pending investigation on charges of torturing another inmate to death at the Luxor police station.

Thousands of doctors  protested Friday against police assault on doctors at Matariya Teaching Hospital last month, followed the release of nine accused policemen after briefly detained.

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