Egypt Court Upholds Death Sentence for Football Riot Convicts

An Egyptian court has upheld the death sentences handed to 11 men for their role in football stadium violence in 2012 in Port Said, Egypt, that led to the death of 74 fans.

The men were found guilty of partaking in a riot during a match between Al-Ahly and Al-Masry football clubs in February 2012, which left may dead.

The case, and earlier sentencing, fuelled tensions and bouts of violence.

The verdict came as part of a retrial of 73 defendants in the case, in which another 40 defendants were sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. Other defendants were acquitted. The verdicts can be appealed against.

The case included the trial of police officers, alongside officials from Al-Masry and Port Said fans.

None were among those who received death sentences, but Port Said’s former security chief was sentenced to five years in prison.

The police were accused of letting fans from the home team, Al-Masry, attack supporters of the visiting Cairo club, Al-Ahly, who had been vocal in supporting the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.

Many of those who died were crushed when fans tried to escape from the stadium, after a post-match pitch invasion by Al-Masry supporters.

The violence sparked unrest in the capital, Cairo, where another 16 people died.

Source : Daily Independent