Egypt sacks spokesman who said shot protester was too thin

But in a television interview, Hisham Abdel Hamid said the 35-year-old Shaima Al Sabbagh had died because she had “no fat”, sparking furious criticism.

By (AFP)

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Published: Tue 24 Mar 2015, 8:50 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:11 PM

Cairo — Egypt’s forensic authority spokesman Hisham Abdel Hamid said on 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 teargas 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 eight metres, 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 said 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 said he was fired because during the interview he criticised colleagues who conducted an autopsy on an activist whose death was ruled an accident.

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