Four counts of murder and eight counts of attempted murder — those are among the crimes an Egyptian court held that Ahmed Mansour Qorany Sharara committed at the tender age of one. He was also charged with threatening soldiers, damaging security forces’ vehicles, and vandalizing government property.
An Egyptian court sentenced the child, now three, to life in prison on Tuesday.
The indictment was handed down with 115 others, all of whom were sentenced to life imprisonment.
“There is no justice in Egypt. No reason,” Mohammed Abu Hurira, a lawyer said. “Logic committed suicide a while ago. Egypt went crazy. Egypt is ruled by a bunch of lunatics.”
While Abu Hurira decried the Egyptian courts for a failure to impart justice, others chalked the decision up to a mistake
An Egyptian defense attorney told the Jerusalem Post that the court might have neglected to review the case when it handed down its decision against Sharara.
Faisal a-Sayd said that he presented the child’s birth certificate to the court, but said the document may not have been given to the judge who presided over Sharara’s case.
[T]he judge did not read the case.
“The child Ahmed Mansour [Qorany Sharara’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,” a-Sayd said. “This proves that the judge did not read the case,” he added.
Others suggested that the child was mistaken for an older relative who has a similar name.
With the rise of mass hearings in recent years, the Egyptian legal system has exhibited many such mishaps.
In June, Egyptian courts upheld a death sentence against deposed Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi despite international criticism. He was sentenced along with nearly 100 others — more than 90 of them were sentenced to death in absentia.
Last February, a court sentenced 183 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death. Charges against two of the nearly 200 people were dropped after the court discovered that they were dead.
The Egyptian military court has said that its conviction of Ahmed Mansour Qorany Sharara for murder was a case of mistaken identity. The court had meant to charge a 16-year-old boy, who, it noted on its official Facebook page, is now on the run.
This article has been updated to reflect new information on the child’s age and name. He was previously reported to have been four years old, but is actually three and a half. His name was previously reported as Ahmed Mansour Karni but has since been updated, as reported, to Ahmed Mansour Qorany Sharara.