Court rejects sentence appeal in Zaina Arafa rape case

Egypt, March 2014

The Port Said Child Criminal Court rejected an appeal against a 15-year sentence by the defendants accused of raping and killing a 5-year-old child.

Security forces imposed tight security measures around the court during the hearing Tuesday. The two prisoners were transferred to court in an armored vehicle ahead of the session.

Relatives of the victim attended the hearing after which they staged a march and raised the child’s image, demanding the death penalty for both prisoners and amending the Child Law to allow death sentence in similar cases.

The Child Criminal Court in Port Said sentenced the two defendants, Mahmoud Mohamed Kaspar, 17, and Zeid Gomaa, 16, to 15 years in prison for raping and killing 5-year-old Zaina Arafa.

Gomaa was also given an additional five-year sentence for appearing in a photograph holding a machine gun.

The defendants involved in the trial are the doorman of Zeina’s building and his friend. They are accused of luring the child to the rooftop, raping her, and then throwing her from the building for fear their crime would be discovered.

The forensic report indicated that the victim suffered fractures in her skull, limbs, face and neck as a result of the fall. The report also confirmed that the girl was sexually assaulted before being thrown.

The Child’s Law bars children under the age of 18 from facing the death penalty.