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Rights group lambasts military court procedure - Daily News Egypt

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Rights group lambasts military court procedure

ECCR criticises lack of transparency in trial investigating death of juvenile street vendor

Omar Salah, 12 years old, shot dead  (Public domain photo)
Omar Salah, 12 years old, shot dead (Public domain photo)

The Egyptian Coalition of Children’s Rights (ECCR) outlined a number of issues with the trial investigating the death of teenage sweet potato vendor Omar Salah. The trial’s first hearing convened on Tuesday.

The rights group said in a statement that their lawyer was not allowed to see the progress of investigations or Salah’s forensic autopsy report. The East Cairo Military Court also imposed a media blackout on the hearing, preventing Salah’s father and lawyer from gaining access to investigations.

The ECCR also stated that it was outraged by the defence’s position that the defendant did not have a firearm, although Salah’s body clearly showed a gunshot wound.

The ECCR demanded that the trial be halted and restarted under the procedures of a “fair and equitable trial”. The children’s rights group also said that the victim’s lawyers should have access to all documents related to the cause of death, including the forensic report.

Lastly, the group called for the media to be able to cover the proceedings and to be allowed to provide a live broadcast of the trial in the interests of a transparent and fair trial.

The second session of the trial will take place next Sunday. The court will collect testimonies from eyewitnesses who are conscripts in the Central Security Forces (CSF).

Salah was killed in February. Although police were originally thought to be responsible for the death, the military claimed responsibility for the killing, which it said was “accidental”.

The incident did not occur during clashes. The army vowed to move forward with investigations and punish those responsible for the shooting in accordance with the law.

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