Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Egyptian cops who killed Khaled Said and thereby helped to spark the revolution, as yet sent to jail

Pictures of the living and the dead Khaled Said...
AFP reports that an Egyptian court in Alexandria sentenced two policemen to seven years on Wednesday, after convicting them for their role in the 2010 death of Khaled Said. who became an important  symbol of the Egyptian revolution. 
In June last year, the two policemen, Mahmud Salah Mahmud and Awad Ismail Suleiman of the Sidi Gabr police station dragged Said out of an Internet cafe and severely beat him on a busy street in Alexandria. Said's death sparked protests around the country.  Actvist Wael Ghoneim, an executive at Google, launched a Facebook page  -- 'Kulena Khaled Said -We are all Khaled Said' -- which played an important role in mobilizing protesters against the reign of president Hosni Mubarak.
...were carried by protesters during the revolution.
The murder of Khaled Said was initially played down by the government. Although pictures of his dead face clearly showed that he had been beaten, the government's chief coroner at the time said he died after ingesting a bag of marijuana. Consequently the prosecutor closed the case. It led to widespread protests which in turn prompted a new investigation in September. That one concluded that Said died of asphyxiation after he was beaten, and a bag had been placed in his mouth after he fell unconscious. It lead to a reopening of the case.
One of the reasons Said's case sparked such nationwide outrage, was that police abuse and torture routinely used to be negelected by the state prosecutors.Unfortunately the revolution did not (yet) end this practice. Human rights groups in Egypt as well outside the country, like Amnesty International, say that detainees are still being subjected to torture, now at the hands of military personnel.

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