Sunday, January 25, 2015

Egypt Prosecutor Orders Investigation Into Killing of Socialist Protester
Ahram Online, , Sunday 25 Jan 2015

Shaimaa El-Sabag was shot dead with birdshot when police dispersed a peaceful march to commemorate the January 2011 revolution

Egypt's prosecutor general has ordered an investigation into the killing of a female protester in Cairo.

Shaimaa El-Sabag, 33, one of several dozen protesters at a march organised by the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, was shot dead with birdshot near Talaat Harb Square in downtown Cairo on Saturday.

The prosecutor summoned police personnel who dispersed the demonstration for questioning and subpoenaed police records of the event.

The records include the number of police present and the weapons they had been issued.

El-Sabag was an advocate for workers' rights and a leading member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party in Alexandria, a group which supported both the January 25 revolution and the June 30 anti-Brotherhood protests.

She is survived by her five-year old son and husband.

Marchers were heading to Tahrir Square to lay flowers for protesters killed during the January 2011 revolution, one day before its fourth anniversary.

Following the incident, the interior ministry denied that a policeman had gunned El-Sabag down, saying marchers used fire crackers.

"And later," the statement reads, "a woman was injured and hospitalised, but she died after succumbing to her injuries."

However, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party said in a statement that their march was peaceful.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said he had faith that whoever made a mistake would be convicted by a fair investigation and a just judiciary.

"The post-January 25 state respects the law, and apples it to everyone," he added in a press communiqué.

MoatazEl-Shenawy, Secretary General of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, deplored the "excessive force" used by the police to disperse the march.

El-Shenawysaid the march was not authorised by the police but was announced in advance.

A law passedby the interim authorities in late 2013 bans all demonstrations not pre-approved by the police, resulting in the arrest of many protesters despite condemnation from freedom of expression advocates.

The minister of interior had recently said that all violations of the law on fourth the anniverssary of the revolution that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak would be dealt with swiftly and firmly by the police.

On Friday, a 15-year-old teenage girl was killed in Alexandria after sustaining birdshot wounds in clashes with the police and pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters.

Shaimaa's murder produced considerable anger which was reflected on social media outlets.

In Facebook post, former Nasserist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi held the ministry of interior responsible for Shaimaa's death.

"It is unreasonaable and unacceptable that the blood of Egyptians who want to express their views peacefully continues to be spilled four years after the glorious revolution."

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