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Death Sentences Confirmed in Egyptian Court

Posted on 10. Mar, 2013 by in Headlines, Headlines Featured

March 10, 2013- On Saturday, a court in Egypt confirmed death sentences for 21 people who participated in a soccer riot in 2012 that turned deadly with over 70 people killed in Port Said.

The court sentenced the former security chief of Port Said as well, Maj. General Essam Samak to a prison term of 15 years. Samak had seniority amongst the nine security personnel tried for what took place during the riot. Another police official who was a colonel also received a prison term of 15 years. The court acquitted seven others.

A court in Egypt confirmed death sentences for 21 people who participated in a soccer riot

A court in Egypt confirmed death sentences for 21 people who participated in a soccer riot

The judge read the verdicts inside a courthouse in Cairo and sentenced another five people to terms of life in prison and eight to 15 years in prison. Six defendants received prison terms of 10 years, while two others were given 5-year terms. One defendant was given a term of just 12 months. In all, the judge acquitted 28 defendants.

The ongoing trial has caused some of Egypt’s worst unrest over recent weeks. The country is already trying to tackle the mass protests against the government’s policies and the crumbling economy. After the first 21 defendants received death sentences on January 28, riots took place in Port Said that killed over 40 people, of which most were shot by security forces.

Because of the unrest that took place in January, many worried the same would take place today after the verdicts were read. However, immediately following the reading of the verdicts, the streets in both Cairo and Port Said seemed to be calm.

However, fans from the Al-Ahly club in Cairo stormed the headquarters of the soccer federation and set it ablaze. Fires also blazed in a nearby club for police, but authorities were not sure if Al-Ahly fan started that fire as well.

Relatives and friends of the defendants gathered in front of government offices in Port Said to voice their anger. However, the violence that took place in January had not erupted.

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