Egyptian policeman imprisoned in torture case
CAIRO — An Egyptian court sentenced a police officer to 15 years in prison on Tuesday for torturing an ultraconservative Muslim to death, a rare lengthy prison term for a policeman convicted of abuse.
The Criminal Court in Alexandria found Osama el-Kounayassi guilty of using torture to extract confessions from el-Sayed Belal, a member of the Salafi trend in the port city whom police accused of involvement in a suicide bombing at a Coptic Christian church over two years ago.
He is the second officer in the same case to receive a 15-year sentence. El-Kounayassi had previously been convicted in absentia, but then won a retrial.
Torture was a key grievance in the popular revolt that ousted Egypt's longtime authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak. But even after the uprising, most torture cases end up with the police either being acquitted or receiving light sentences. The case of Belal, a bearded young man, was one of two extreme cases of brutality that galvanized public anger shortly before the revolution.
The first one was the death of Khaled Said, also from Alexandria, who was beaten to death by two police officers in June 2010.
His name became a rallying call for the uprising. “We are all Khaled Said” was the name of the Facebook group that helped organize the early protests.
The brutal death of Said, a 28-year-old middle class small businessman, particularly alarmed many Egyptians who viewed torture victims as political activists or people with a criminal background.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Watchdog counts $1 billion wasted in Afghanistan
- Turkey releases recording of warnings to Russian plane
- France honors attack victims in city subdued by mourning
- France, Russia iron out alliance against Islamic State
- Mexico seizes El Chapo’s planes, cars, houses
- Russia vows to punish Turks financially
- South African judge OKs local trade in rhino horns
- China to reorganize military under joint command
- Year’s worth of rain floods Qatar
- Slaying in Venezuela spurs fears of political violence
- Pope Francis plugs global climate talks in Kenya visit