Egypt court upholds football riot death sentences

2015-06-09 20:40


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - An Egyptian court on Tuesday upheld death sentences against 11 football fans over a February 2012 riot in the eastern city of Port Said that cost the lives of 74 people.

The riot, the country's deadliest sports-related unrest, broke out when fans of home team Al-Masry and Cairo's Al-Ahly clashed after a premier league match between the two clubs.

A Cairo criminal court confirmed the sentences handed down in April against 11 Al-Masry fans, one of whom is a fugitive, after consulting the grand mufti, the government interpreter of Islamic law who plays an advisory role.

The court also sentenced two police officers, including then Port Said police chief Essam Samak, and two Al-Masry club officials to five years in jail.

21 defendants, including seven police officers and one an Al-Masry official, were acquitted. The remainder were handed jail terms of between one and 15 years.

Tuesday's sentence can still be appealed before the cassation court.

Families of the victims expressed dismay after the verdict.

'This is an unfair ruling'

"They acquitted the police who planned everything. They were the ones who locked up our children in the stadium," said a crying mother wearing a T-shirt with her sons picture on it.

"This is an unfair ruling... They are laughing at the people," the father of another victim said.

An appeals court had ordered a retrial in February 2014, after rejecting an initial verdict sentencing 21 people to death.

The clashes sparked several days of violent protests in Cairo, in which another 16 people were killed in fighting with security forces.

Dozens of people also died in clashes in the Suez Canal city after the 21 death sentences were handed down.

Ultras - hardcore football supporters usually blamed by the authorities for violence - were at the forefront of the 2011 uprising that unseated president Hosni Mubarak. A court in May banned ultras fan clubs.

After the 2012 clashes, the government ordered that premier league matches be held behind closed doors.

The ban was partially lifted in 2015, but a stampede outside a Cairo stadium killed 19 fans on the first day games were open to the public.

The prosecution has charged 16 people in connection with that incident, blaming it on ultras and on the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Read more on:    egypt  |  northern africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.