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Egypt: Disaster Ferry Owner Finally Guilty!

The life of each one of the 1,000 plus Egyptians killed when the Salam 98 ferry sank in 2006 is worth about 11 hours in prison for ferry owner, former lawmaker and business tycoon Mamdouh Ismail, who has been sentenced in absentia to seven years behind bars for “involuntary slaughter,” say Egyptian bloggers.

The disaster has been described as “the deadliest disasters in modern maritime history.”

Zeinobia broke the news on Twitter announcing the verdict:

zeinobia

Later on, more reactions followed, from Fustat, Wael Abbas, myself and other Egyptian bloggers.

The disaster goes back to February 2006, when Salam 98 sank in the middle of Red Sea, killing more than 1,200 Egyptians who were returning from Saudi Arabia; as well as crew who are said to have been kidnapped so as not to testify against Ismail. The ferry's victims were mostly poor workers who were looking forward to spending their vacation with their families in Egypt.

In July 2008, the court declared Ismail not guilty, causing rage and anger among people. The sentence was appealed and it was only today that Ismail was found guilty.

And despite claims that the victims’ families are happy with the sentence, because they believe it’s the harshest to have for a person in his position within such a corrupt system, many Egyptians still believe the verdict came very late, and was unjust when compared to the 1,200 Egyptians who drowned at sea.

Ayoub [Ar], Sayyed Mokhtar [Ar], Omar Affandi [Ar], Ahmed A. EL-Malatawy [Ar], and Kareem El Bahairy [Ar] each vented their anger, in their own way.

Egyptian leftist and Nawara [Ar] denounced the sentence by calculating the imprisonment time saying:

قيمة المصري مننا 11 ساعة سجن!!! ايون المصري مننا قيمة عند القضاء و الحكومة المصرية 11 ساعة سجن، انهارده قضة محكمة جنح سفاجا مستأنف بحبس ممدوح إسماعيل، رئيس مجلس إدارة الشركة المالكة للعبارة الغارقة “السلام”، 7 سنوات مع الشغل والنفاذ، وبحسبة بسيطة جدا هتصول للحقيقة الوسخة انه بما ان قتل 1200 مصري من اعمار مختفلة عقوبتة هو السجن 7 سنين مشدد يعني الواحد ب 11.4 ساعة سجن –دا إذا تم تنفيذ الحكم اصلا لأن ممدوح اسماعيل هارب في لندن-، يا بلاش يا بلد يا بلاش!!!
The value of an Egyptian life is 11 hours in jail!!! Yes, the value of one of us is 11 hours of imprisonment, according to the Egyptian judiciary and the Egyptian government. Today the court sentenced Mamdouh Ismail and the owner’s company director to seven years in prison. You don’t have to do the math to know that the penalty of killing 1,200 Egyptians –of different ages- is jail for seven years, which means that an individual is equivalent to exactly 11.4 hours of jail – in case it was really executed, because Mamdouh is a fugitive in London.
How cheap!
Egyptian Leftist is asking Can you see a mass grave?

Egyptian Leftist asking "Can you see a mass grave?"

Ahmed Shokier, another Egyptian blogger, posts two photographs of judges involved with the case – one of Ahmed Refaa El Najaar who said Mamdouh not guilty, and the other for Khaled Badr El Deen who declared the suspect guilty and sentenced him to seven years in prison. In a cynical remark, Ahmed titled his post “Justice has many faces.”

Meanwhile, Arabawy displayed a video [En] by Al Jazeera International reporting on the victim’s families reactions when they first heard the news.

Zeinobia, as usual, wrote a comprehensive round up about the case, where she expressed her concerns that the last verdict is no more than an anaesthetic to the public as Ismail is currently in London, and its known that there is no extradition agreement between Egypt and the UK, which means he will be safely enjoying his time abroad.

She asked if someone could sue him in London, or if Egyptians could boycott his companies and hotels. She also concluded her post stressing that, as long as Ismail is in London, the case of Salam98 is not finished yet.

However, and according to her, it might end someday at the hands of one angry Egyptian:

Again all what I can say is that I wish someone will sue him in London, also I wish that we boycott his companies and hotels in Egypt ,here is the list of his empire in Egypt
• El-Salam Maritime transportation company.
• El-Salam Tourism development company that owns :
X Concorde El-Salam at Misr El Gadida, Cairo
X Concorde Sharm El-Sheikh, Sinai.
• Telstar travel at Tahrir Square, Cairo.
The case of the Al-Salam Ferry 98 has not finished yet as long as Ismail is in London. The case of the missing crew members is still open.
Sometimes I feel that Mamdouh Ismail will be killed on the hands of some angry Upper Egyptian.

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