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Egypt court acquits police officers accused of killing protester

The North Cairo Criminal Court on Wednesday acquitted seven police officers accused of killing a protester and injuring 11 others during the January 2011 revolution. The public prosecution had charged these seven police officers with attempted and premeditated murder. The initial panel of judges on this case declined to review it, forcing the appeals court to assign a new panel of judges. The court found insufficient evidence [Daily News Egypt report] to convict. Most Egyptian police officers with charges involving protesters' deaths have been cleared of the charges. Nonetheless, the Ministry of Health [official website, in Arabic] suggests nearly 1,000 protesters were killed and 6,000 injured from excessive police force during the 18-day uprising.

Egypt has experienced continued unrest and instability since the 2011 revolution [JURIST backgrounder]. Last month a number of Egyptian opposition groups filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] demanding public debate of the country's budget. Earlier in April Egypt's upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, approved [JURIST report] new election procedures to elect the House of Representatives. The process has been delayed, however, by Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court referring [JURIST report] the newly passed law to the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) for review. The court's decision was said to be based on technical grounds, namely that the Shura Council failed to return the amended electoral to the SCC for final review before passing it [JURIST report]. The law was amended [JURIST report] in five key areas as demanded by the high court. in March, the SCC dismissed complaints [JURIST report] against the assembly responsible for drafting the country's new constitution.

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