The armed forces’ official spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Ali denied in a statement the police’s responsibility for the death of Omar Salah Omran.
Omran, a teenage-street vendor selling sweet potatoes, was shot dead in the vicinity Tahrir Square on 3 February. The story of his shooting was made public on Wednesday, when No Military Trials movement published a photo of his corpse.
“An army personnel tasked with securing the American Embassy in Garden City is responsible for the killing of Omran,” Ali said in the statement; contradicting an earlier statement by the Ministry of Interior claiming that a Central Security Forces (CSF) conscript accidently shot the street vendor. Ali added that Omran was killed “accidentally”; there was no enmity or clashes involved in the incident.
The leader of the security force which the army personnel belongs to allegedly filed an immediate report to the police upon the shooting, Ali said. He added that; “the armed forces insist on going forward with the investigation and punishing the responsible personnel, within a legal context, according to the reward and punishment concept it believes in.” Ali also stated that the deceased’s family waivered Omran’s right to retribution from his killer as they believed that the shooting was not intentional.
Members of No Military Trials movement released their own account on the incident in a statement on Thursday. The statement cited claims of doctors working in the Mounira hospital, where Omran’s body was first brought, that an ambulance coming from Tahrir Square brought Omran’s body to the hospital; the paramedics claiming that the child’s corpse was found in front of the Faculty of Social Service in Garden City. The doctors added that a police man was present with the ambulance. Upon confirming the child’s death, the doctors claimed they intended to file a report documenting the accident, yet they were met by the ambulance’s refusal, coupled with the police forces’, who both insisted on having the corpse moved.
Omran’s body was taken to the Zeinhom Morgue, reported the statement, where army personnel assisted his family in carrying out the burial procedures “silently”. The movement was able to reach Omran’s father, who claimed he was in a street near his son at the time of shooting. Salah Omran, the father, is also a street vendor.
Inan interview of Omran recorded last year with local charity Lifemakers, Omar said he had been selling sweet potatoes on the street for five years and that his father had died one year earlier. No Military Trials movement stated that Omar was forced to lie about his father’s death in order to win the charity organisation’s free education grant.
A symbolic funeral for Omran was scheduled to be held on Friday; almost two weeks after his death and burial.
Additional reporting by Ahmed Aboul Enein