Police officer sentenced to life in prison for killing tea vendor

Wednesday 16-11-2016 02:57 PM

An image of the workplace of the tea vendor murdered in Rehab neighbourhood on Apr. 19, 2016. ASWATMASRIYA/ Mohamed Atef

CAIRO, Nov 16 (Aswat Masriya) – The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced a low-ranking police officer on Wednesday to life imprisonment for killing a tea vendor and injuring two other people in Rehab neighbourhood, East Cairo, in April.

The low-ranking police officer, Zeinhum Abdel Razek, shot dead a tea vendor and injured two more people in the upscale suburban neighbourhood of Rehab, after a quarrel over his refusal to pay for a cup of tea, according to the interior ministry.

Citing a witness, Reuters reported then that a crowd gathered and overturned a police vehicle and began beating up another policeman at the scene of the incident.

Just one day after the incident, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stressed the importance of deterring "irresponsible" police behavior on the streets.

Egypt’s top prosecutor referred the low-ranking police officer to criminal court on April 27 on accusations of murder and terrorising citizens.

The behavior and conduct of the Egyptian police apparatus has been largely scrutinised by human rights workers, activists, and ordinary citizens especially in the first few months of 2016.

Another incident of police brutality took place earlier in February when a policeman shot dead a driver in the al-Darb al-Ahmar neighbourhood over the cost of loading goods.

The incident also sparked public outrage at the police and hundreds took to protest in Cairo's streets after the killing, in an expression of anger that has become rare in the past few years.

The policeman was sentenced to 25 years in prison (life sentence) in April.

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