In a grotesquely strange move, a court in Western Cairo this week sentenced a four-year-old boy to life in prison on various heinous charges bordering on murder, inciting riots, destruction of government property and threatening cops, The Jerusalem Post reports.
The little boy, Ahmed Mansour Karni, who was born in September 2012, got the life in prison term on Tuesday, February 16, 2016, after being convicted in absentia of offenses that allegedly occurred two years ago.
Although the boy was less than two years old during the civil unrest in 2014, he was convicted in absentia due to a clerical error and the court’s incompetence.
It was gathered that Karni was listed as “wanted” for murder, disturbance of the peace and damaging state property in an indictment that listed 115 other defendants sentenced to life imprisonment.
The indictment stated the charges against the youngster in full as four counts of murder, eight counts of attempted murder, vandalising property belonging to the Egyptian Health Administration in his home province of el-Fayoum, threatening soldiers and police officers and damaging vehicles belonging to security forces.
Although Karni’s birth certificate was presented to the court, one of his defense attorneys accused the presiding judge of failing to review the case before abruptly passing down a life sentence on a four-year-old child.
Lawyer Faisal a-Sayd asserted, “The child Ahmed Mansour Karni’s birth certificate was presented after state security forces added his name to the list of accused, but then the case was transferred to the military court and the child was sentenced in absentia in an ensuing court hearing. This proves that the judge did not read the case.”
Another Egyptian lawyer Mohammed Abu Hurira issued a fiery response, writing:
“On the eve of injustice and madness in Egypt, a four year-old child was sentenced to life imprisonment. He is accused of disturbance, damage to property and murder. The Egyptian scales of justice are not reversible. There is no justice in Egypt. No reason. Logic committed suicide a while ago. Egypt went crazy. Egypt is ruled by a bunch of lunatics.”
The sentencing also set social media ablaze as netizens pour out their spleen on the Egyptian legal system, accusing the government of corruption and injustice.
A blogger and wife of Egyptian human rights activist Nibin Melek wrote in a post that the sentencing “was a blind decision.”
Aside from ruthlessly punishing innocent children, the Egyptian government has become notorious for imprisoning journalists and escalating police brutality in recent years.