CAIRO — A female protester was shot dead by police at a march in downtown Cairo Saturday, her political party said in a statement.
The leftist Popular Alliance party said that police shot its member Shaimaa el-Sabagh with birdshot Saturday evening as the group peacefully marched toward Tahrir Square to lay a commemorative wreath of roses on the eve of the 4th anniversary of Egypt’s 2011 uprising.
A Ministry of Health official confirmed that a female protester died from birdshot injuries to her head and body.
A statement from the Interior Ministry said the police forces moved to disperse a protest after they saw demonstrators setting off fireworks. It said the police were conducting an investigation into the woman’s death and vowed to arrest the perpetrators.
Photos widely distributed on social media showed el-Sabagh carrying a wreath of roses, and then bloodied and being carried by another protester.
Security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters, say they arrested 11 people following clashes.
Ahead of the 4th anniversary of the uprising, the revolutionary fervor of 2011 has been largely extinguished. Many of the pro-democracy activists central to the uprising are in prison for attempting to protest against the new president, former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Others are dismissed in the media as troublemakers while the police, who in the revolutionaries’ eyes were the hated tools of oppression, are now lauded in the press as heroes in a fight against Islamists.
In addition to being the anniversary of the 2011 uprising, Sunday is national Police Day in Egypt.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.