The Ismailia Criminal Court sentenced a Central Security officer to three years in prison for the murder of 20-year-old conscript Ahmed Hosni in North Sinai in 2014.
The court charged Captain Mohamed Hosni with beating the conscript to death, in addition to possession of a weapon and misuse of power.
According an Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR) statement published following Hosni’s death, the conscript told his superior officer that he felt ill. The officer ordered him to fetch a tree branch and then proceeded to severely beat the conscript until he died.
When the incident took place, a Ministry of Interior spokesperson told Daily News Egypt that the conscript collapsed during training and died after attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
During an investigation into the conscript’s death, the prosecution ascertained that the conscript died from blunt force trauma that suggested assault.
Former forensic Authority Spokesman Hisham Abdel Hamid said that the soldier fainted and was subsequently beaten by a superior officer who suspected him to be evading training.
Upon the disclosure of the prosecution’s investigation, the Ministry of Interior’s media centre said Mohamed Hosni had been sent to prosecution, where he will held in preventative detention for four days awaiting further investigations.
It is expected that the officer will appeal a sentence. Offices accused in similar cases of abuse within the police have often received reduced sentences. If so, the officer’s sentence may be entirely vacated, as he half spent more than half of the sentence in detention already.
Article 55/2014 of the Egyptian Constitution bans torturing, terrorising, coercing, and physically or morally harming detained or arrested persons. Article 52 states that “torture in all of its forms is not subject to a statute of limitations.”
The conscript belonged to the Central Security Forces (CSF) which makes up the majority of riot police, and which was formed as a paramilitary force to confront opposition and student and labour strikes.
The EOHR described Ahmed Hosni’s murder as torture and a “flagrant violation to the right to life and bodily integrity.”
EOHR head Hafez Abu Saeda denounced the incident, asserting the “state must not be complacent in holding police officers accountable when they assault conscripts.”
CSF conscripts work under extremely difficult conditions and have repeatedly voiced objection to mistreatment by superior officers.