Egypt convicts in absentia 2 police officers over deadly abuse, torture of detainees

An Egyptian court has convicted two police officers in absentia over torturing a detainee to death and critically injuring another as part of a government crackdown on police abuses.

Judge Saeed Sabry on Saturday sentenced the officers to life in prison after the prosecution presented forensic testimony that detainee Ismail Abdel-Hameed was tortured to death in 2014. The two are on the run and were tried in absentia in the Nile Delta province of Tanta.

If they surrender to authorities or give themselves up, under Egyptian law there would be a retrial. The two were also sentenced to an additional year in prison for severely beating another detainee.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi vowed earlier this month to punish abusive officers in the wake of November deaths of several detainees.