EGYPT: Man shot by police during uprising dies
Moustafa Ahmed, an Egyptian profiled last month by The Times after he was seriously injured during the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak, has died.
On Saturday, crowds of protesters carried Ahmed’s body in a white coffin from Kasr El Aini Hospital where he had been treated, to Tahrir Square, where tens of thousands of protesters have been rallying, calling on the new government to prosecute officials accused of crimes, including police suspected of shooting protesters such as Ahmed.
No one has been charged in connection with Ahmed’s shooting, relatives said.
As his body was carried out of the hospital Saturday, military officials and police watched from the council of ministers and parliament. As the funeral march passed, they saluted.
Protesters and relatives prayed over Ahmed’s body in Tahrir Square. From there, his body was taken back to his hometown, Alexandria, for burial.
Ahmed, 36, worked at a coffee shop in Alexandria, where he was shot by police as they clashed nearby with protesters on Jan. 28, relatives said. He underwent several surgeries to remove bullet fragments from his brain, but remained in a coma in recent months. He died last week.
His brother, Sayed Ahmed, 27, an iron smith from Alexandria, spoke with The Times at his brother’s bedside last month. He said a private donor stepped in to pay for his brother’s treatment after Egypt’s new government failed to help.
Government officials have promised to help the 11,000 people they estimate were injured during the revolution, but so far few have been compensated.
Protester Antar Azim, 26, was shot the same day as Moustafa Ahmed, also in Alexandria. Bullets shattered five of Azim's vertebrae, leaving his left side paralyzed. Earlier this month, after surgery to repair his arm and back, doctors told his family he will likely remain paralyzed.
Last month, Azim spoke from his bed at Kasr El Aini about his frustration at the lack of government support and justice for those injured during the revolution.
Interim Prime Minister Essam Sharaf promised that the government would create an association to help the injured and the families of the 840 people killed during the protests.
It is still unclear how much the government will pay.
Earlier this month, after protesters returned to Tahrir Square, Sharaf announced that he would suspend police accused of killing protesters during the uprising. Last week, Sharaf promised to reshuffle his Cabinet and fired more than 600 high-ranking police officers.
So far, only one police officer has been found guilty of killing protesters during the revolution. He remained at large at the time of his conviction and was sentenced to death in absentia.
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights has sued the government, demanding compensation for the injured.
— Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Los Angeles and Ahmed Shawket in Cairo
Photo: Sayed Ahmed tends to his brother, Moustafa Ahmed, 36, who was shot by police during protests in Alexandria Jan. 28. Moustafa Ahmed was in a coma in intensive care at Kasr El Aini Hospital in Cairo, where he died last week. Credit: Molly Hennessy-Fiske/Los Angeles Times.
Video (top): Protesters and mourners carry a white coffin containing the body of Moustafa Ahmed from Kasr El Aini Hospital in Cairo to Tahrir Square Saturday. Credit: YouTube.
Video (bottom): Antar Azim, 26, shot and paralyzed by police during protests in Alexandria on Jan. 28, speaks through a translator from his bed at Kasr El Aini last month. Credit: Molly Hennessy-Fiske/Los Angeles Times.