Egypt sacks spokesperson who said shot protester was too thin

2015-03-24 16:58

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Cairo - Egypt's forensic authority spokesperson Hisham Abdel Hamid said Tuesday he had been sacked after an interview in which he said a protester died of birdshot wounds because she was too thin.

An officer has been referred to trial for allegedly shooting dead activist Shaima al-Sabbagh when riot police fired tear gas and birdshot to disperse a peaceful rally in January.

But in a television interview on Saturday, Hisham Abdel Hamid said the 35-year-old activist had died because she had "no fat", sparking furious criticism.

The birdshot that killed Sabbagh was fired from a range of 8m, which normally would cause wounds but not death, he claimed.

"She died because she was very thin," he said.

Sabbagh "was basically skin on bones", he said, adding that her physique provided no resistance to the shotgun pellets that perforated her chest.

"Exalted be God, it was her time," he added.

Several protesters have been killed by birdshot in Egypt over the past few years.

On Tuesday, Abdel Hamid told AFP he had been sacked following the interview and shared the letter that notified him of his dismissal.

The letter told him he was being relieved of his job "in light of what is required by the interests of the profession", and for giving an unauthorised interview.

Abdel Hamid told AFP he was fired because during the interview he criticised colleagues who conducted an autopsy on an activist whose death was ruled an accident.

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa

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