Egyptian court clears state security officer of killing detainee
The Alexandria Criminal Court acquitted on Thursday an officer of charges of torturing and killing a suspect in 2011. (AFP/File)
The Alexandria Criminal Court acquitted on Thursday a Homeland Security officer of charges of torturing and killing a suspect in 2011.
The officer Abdel Rahman al-Sheemi is from the Homeland Security branch of the police and is one of several policemen who faced trial for the killing of Sayed Bilal. The suspect's death is seen as one of the sparks of the January 2011 uprising which saw the end of former president Hosni Mubarak's 30 year rule.
Of the five policemen brought to trial, four were sentenced in absentia to life in prison in June 2012. Sheemi, the only defendant sentenced in session, was sent to 15 years in prison.
The police officer was nevertheless released from custody last June, after the Court of Cassation cancelled his prison sentence and ordered his retrial.
Bilal was arrested on January 5, 2011, alongside several other Salafis, who are more conservative followers of Sunni Islam. They faced investigation into a blast that had occurred a on New Year's eve at a church in Alexandria, killing over 20 people.
According to a later investigation on what happened to Bilal, he was "tortured" inside the headquarters of State Security branch of the police, whose name was later changed to National Security after the 2011 uprising.
The torture was carried out at the hands of "State Security policemen" and it continued until Bilal "took his final breath immediately after being moved to a medical centre."
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