News / Middle East

    Egypt Court Overturns Conviction in 39 Deaths

    Wounded man lies on the ground as Egyptian security forces clear demonstration by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi near Egypt's Cairo University, August 2013.
    Wounded man lies on the ground as Egyptian security forces clear demonstration by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi near Egypt's Cairo University, August 2013.

    Related Articles

    Egypt Court Sentences 10 Brotherhood Supporters to Death

    All 10 are assumed to be in hiding amid a state crackdown on the group since the army toppled Egypt's first freely-elected civilian President Mohamed Morsi last July
    Reuters
    A Cairo appeals court on Saturday overturned the conviction of a police officer sentenced to 10 years in jail in connection with 39 deaths during political violence last year, judicial sources said.

    In one of the most controversial incidents since the army’s July ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, 39 men died during what the Interior Ministry said was an attempted prison break. The ministry had described the men as Islamists, Muslim Brotherhood members and their supporters.

    The prosecutor's office later said its investigations showed the men died while being transported to jail in an overcrowded police van into which tear gas was fired.

    In March, at the original trial, Lt. Col. Amr Farouk was sentenced to 10 years in jail with labor on charges of involuntary manslaughter and extreme negligence.

    Appeals court judge Mohamed Amel on Saturday sent the case back to the prosecutor general and ordered a new investigation that could result in a new trial or in the case being dismissed, legal sources said.

    The decision "means that the case is back to square one," Amr Imam, a human rights attorney, told the news service AFP.

    AFP reported the court also overturned suspended one-year sentences for three other officers involved in the case.  

    Journalists were forbidden from attending Saturday’s hearing at the Cairo police academy.

    Reuters reported that, according to the website of the official newspaper, Al-Ahram, the four police officers cheered and yelled "long live justice!" after the judge read his decision.

    Prosecutor’s office found problem

    According to the prosecutor's office, 45 people were crammed into a van made to carry 24 and subjected to tear gas fire.

    "This led to the death of 37 prisoners and the suffocation of two others," said its report issued last October.

    An investigation by Britain's Guardian newspaper concluded that not all of those in the police van were Islamists. Some were not even Morsi supporters, it found, but had simply been rounded up in the chaos following the Aug. 14 clearing of a pro-Morsi sit-in in a Cairo suburb.

    Hundreds of Brotherhood supporters and members of the security forces have been killed in the upheaval since Morsi was overthrown by former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, who will be sworn in as president on Sunday. The Brotherhood, Egypt's biggest political force until last year, has been outlawed and driven underground.

    It was not immediately clear if Farouk would be released from jail. The prosecutor general's office was not immediately available for comment.

    Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora