Protester shot by police died because she was ‘very thin’: Egyptian official


The Egyptian activist Shaimaa al Sabbagh, who was shot by the police in Cairo on the fourth anniversary of the uprising against Hosni Mubarak, succumbed to gunshot wounds because she was underweight, claimed Egypt’s medical forensics authority, according to The Times.

The spokesperson of the authority said this on a broadcast on Saturday.

Shaimaa, 31, was killed on January 24 during a march to lay flowers in Tahrir Square in Cairo to mark the anniversary of Egypt’s Arab Spring revolt in 2011 after police fired birdshot ammunition, a supposedly non-lethal alternative to shot gun pellets, into the crowd to disperse the march.

“She was very thin. She did not have percentage of fat. So the small pellets penetrated very easily, and four or five out of all the pellets that penetrated her body – these four or five pellets were able to penetrate her heart and lungs, and these are the ones that caused her death,” said medical official Hisham Abdel Hamid to The New York Times.

Hamid argued that a man marching next to her survived despite being shot as he had more fat on his body.

The absurd statement has drew sharp criticism from around the world. “These sorts of ridiculous claims just add a thick layer of absurdity to the government’s endless record of killings and impunity,” said Human Rights Watch’s Sarah Leah Whitson.

A police officer is facing charges of manslaughter for firing close-range-bird-shot pellets after pictures of her death shocked the world of this senseless killing.

In central Cairo, police fired shotguns and tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who tried to march on the central Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the early 2011 revolt that ousted veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak.