By Nada Hanan
The Giza Criminal Court issued death sentences for three students convicted of the arson of a 6th of October City administrative department office, independent observatory Freedom Seekers reported on Friday.
The court referred the sentences given to Mass Communications student Mostafa Hamdy, Engineering student Abd-Allah Morad, and fellow student Mosaab Magdy, who is enrolled at the Habiba Institute, to the Grand Mufti to make a final decision at the next court session on 3 October.
Freedom Seekers said: “The students were tortured by the police officers in order to admit to committing this act, while they were innocent.”
Hamdy, one of the defendants, said in a letter after the court decision: “While I was working at my new job in the Canadian University, I was arrested. When I asked ‘Why?’ the officer said that the university’s president has to ask me about an issue.”
He added, describing how they started to pressure him: “The officer asked me why I attend demonstrations, I said because one of my friends was dead and I stopped after the issuance of the protest law.”
Hamdy listed in the letter, which was written immediately after the trial, the ways in which he suffered, saying: “They put me in a cold room without clothes; they threw water on me then turned the fans on.”
The court also said the defendants belong to an illegal group called “Rabaa Ultras”. This group aimed to destroy governmental buildings and public properties, besides attacking police officers.
Further, On Thursday, the Alexandria Criminal Court sentenced three civilians to death on similar charges. The three civilians were tried in the Riots of Alexandria Library case, which took place on 14 August 2013 in conjunction with the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in dispersal.
A total of 71 other defendants on the case, who are reportedly Muslim Brotherhood members, are accused of killing a police officer Hossam El-Bahi, two conscripts, 13 civilians and injuring more than 68 citizens.
Besides this, they were also convicted of damaging the Mary Girgis Church, a traffic office, two cars, a police tank, an ambulance, an ATM machine, a coffee shop and having unlicensed weapons. They also attacked the Bab Sharqi police station and two police points of El-Shatby and El-Ibrahimia.
The court has set the session on 28 September for a final verdict.