By Kenneth Changpertitum
A police officer was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a lawyer in prison by the Cairo Criminal Court in Abdeen on Monday, state-run Al-Ahram reported.
The incident occurred in April, when officer Ahmed El-Tayyeb spotted lawyer Mohamed Khalil at Imbaba Police Station, posting bail for a detainee, and followed him into the holding cell.
When an altercation broke out between the two men, El-Tayyeb shot Khalil three times in the chest, abdomen, and back. The police officer and the lawyer, who had been issued a warrant on charges of rioting and demonstrating without a permit, knew each other from several encounters since the 25 January Revolution.
Police abuse of power and detention without charges continues to be a problem in Egypt. Amnesty International issued a statement in July 2014 saying that there has been “a surge in arbitrary arrests, detentions and harrowing incidents of torture and deaths in police custody.”
Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International, said Egyptian security forces are “employing the same methods of torture and other ill-treatment used during the darkest hours of the Mubarak era.”
Amnesty stated that since last year’s ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi , there have been over 16,000 unlawful arrests for expressing dissent, at least 80 unlawful deaths while in custody, and widespread torture by security forces.