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Egyptian killed by police sentenced to life in prison

Egypt has sentenced thousands to death and life in prison in mass trials [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 April, 2016

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In the latest Egyptian legal farce, a court has sentenced a deceased man to life in prison, two months after a four-year-old boy was handed down the same harsh punishment.
An Egyptian court has sentenced a man who was killed by security forces three years ago to life in prison, in yet another case that illustrates the arbitrary nature of the Egyptian criminal justice system.

The court handed down the life sentence to Ahmad Abdel Wahed Safawy this week along with 170 other men accused of setting fire to a police station during a protest in the rural city of Ibshway south of Cairo in August 2013.

Safawy was shot in the stomach during the protest which took place the same day as security forces raided two sit-ins of supporters of ousted president Mohammad Morsi, killing at least 817 civilians.

The 28-year-old kiosk worker succumbed to his injuries three weeks later in a Fayyoum hospital, leaving behind his wife and two young children.

"He heard gunshots so he went to go and see what was happening, he was then shot by the police. We haven't pressed any charges because there's no rule of law these days," Safawy's grandfather told media last year in a televised interview.

"Ahmad wasn't terrorist. The terrorists are the people who massacred all those innocent lives at Rabaa," he added.

Human Rights Watch has said the systematic and widespread killing of pro-Morsi demonstrators by security forces in July and August 2013 at the Rabaa and al-Nahda square sit-ins amount to "crimes against humanity".

Since Morsi's removal by then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a police crackdown targeting Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood has left hundreds dead and tens of thousands jailed.

Hundreds more, including Morsi himself, have been sentenced to death and life in prison in mass trials.

In February, a court sentenced a four-year-old boy to 28 years in prison for murdering three people, the attempted murder of six others, illegal arms possession and vandalism.

After intense media scrutiny, authorities admitted the conviction was a mistake.

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