Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Egyptian police accused of killing protesters get light sentences


A Cairo court has given suspended one-year sentences to 11 policemen accused of killing protesters during last year’s uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

The policemen were accused of killing 22 protesters and injuring 44 others outside a police station in Cairo's Hadaeq al-Qobba neighborhood in one of the deadliest days of the protests on January 28, 2011.

The policemen were guilty of using live ammunition in violation of orders, the court ruling said, adding that “the right of self-defense here is legitimate, but the defendants exceeded that right.”

The ruling, carried by the official news agency MENA, said the people outside the police station were genuine protesters, but they were later infiltrated by a “misled minority” that attacked the police.

The sentence means the policemen will not face prison time.

Families of the dead protesters gathered outside the court and chanted "Death to the murderers!"

Since the ouster of Mubarak last February and coming to power of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, dozens more people have been killed.

Protesters have regularly taken to the streets to denounce the ruling military, accusing it of stifling dissent, stalling on reforms and of human rights violations.

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