An Egyptian court has sentenced six policemen to up to seven years in prison over the death of a detainee in the southern city of Luxor.

The Qena Criminal Court convicted policeman Samir Imam, 24, on Tuesday and sentenced him to seven years for "beating (the detainee) to death." Another five were sentenced to three years. The court also ordered the Interior Ministry to pay 1.5 million Egyptian pounds ($170,000) to the man's family. Seven policemen were acquitted. The policemen can appeal the verdict.

The death of 45-year-old Talaat Shabeeb in police custody in November sparked riots in Luxor. His family accused police of beating him to death, saying they saw bruises on his body.

Rights groups say torture is widespread in Egyptian detention facilities. Authorities say abuses are rare.