Egyptian court jails policemen in rare torture verdict

Samir Hani receives seven years in prison for torturing a worker to death; 5 other officers earn 3-year sentences

Illustrative: A woman walks past an Egyptian policeman, a day ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Jan. 25, 2011 uprising in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt on Jan. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Roger Anis)
Illustrative: A woman walks past an Egyptian policeman, a day ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Jan. 25, 2011 uprising in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt on Jan. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Roger Anis)

CAIRO — An Egyptian court has sentenced a policeman to seven years in prison for torturing a worker to death, a rare decision against a force largely seen as operating with impunity.

The Court of Cassation sentenced officer Samir Hani on Wednesday, and also handed down three-year sentences to five other policemen involved in the case. It rejected appeals and issued what will be a final verdict.

The men were initially convicted last July of beating worker Talaat el-Rashidi to death in the Luxor police station after he was arrested in front of a coffee shop for possession of narcotics.

Egyptian police have conducted a widescale crackdown on government opponents, both Islamist and secular. Human Rights Watch says President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has given a “green light” to systematic torture inside detention facilities.

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