Alex court resumes trial for young Salafi man’s murder

The Alexandria Criminal Court on Thursday resumed the trial of five police officers accused of torturing to death a young Salafi man in January 2011.

Sayed Bilal, a follower of conservative Salafi Islamic principles, was allegedly tortured to death by police agents who detained him for questioning over his involvement in a church bombing in Alexandria earlier that same month.

His death further stoked discontent about human rights violations committed by the police services, one of the driving forces behind the 25 January 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

The judge evacuated reporters from the courtroom, in line with a previous decision to ban the live broadcast of trials and the publication of witnesses’ accounts.

The defense lawyers previously called for the application of the law by imposing a one-year prison sentence and fining whoever publishes any materials which they said could affect the witnesses’ testimonies.

A satellite channel violated the ban on Saturday by airing the testimony of the first witness, retired police major Gaafar Hussein Mohamed.

Of the five police officers facing the charges, four remain at large.

Translated from MENA

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