Omar Afify sentenced to five years in absentia over Israeli Embassy attack

The Giza Criminal Court sentenced Colonel Omar Afify to five years in prison in absentia over the storming of the Israeli Embassy and the Giza Security Department in September 2011.

Afify had fled abroad and was tried in absentia, according to Reuters. Another 74 suspects were sentenced to suspended prison sentences of one year and one suspect was referred to the juvenile detention center.

Afify is a former police officer who wrote a book,  "In order not to be beaten on the back of your head,” in which he gave instructions on how to avoid being tortured by the police.  The book was censored and Afify later fled to the US. He has since criticized the Mubarak regime as well as the military government that took control after his ouster.

The Public Prosecutor had referred 76 suspects to the Emergency State Security Court for attacking the Israeli and Saudi embassies in Cairo and the Giza Security Department during clashes that erupted at a Friday rally in September.

Three people were killed in the confrontations and more than 1,000 were injured.

The State Security prosecution charged the suspects with illegal assembly, use of violence on public employees, assault on policemen, attempted break-in into the Giza Security Department, sabotage of public property, arson and intentional damage to public property.

The attack on the Israeli Embassy was sparked by the killing of five Egyptian soldiers in a raid that Israel claimed was intended to target terrorists.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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