Egypt native Ahmed Mansour Qurani Ali was considered a vigilante. During a series of riots in 2014, he has killed four people, nearly killed eight more and vandalised government structures. He was convicted by an Egyptian military court for these acts last week, which sentenced him to life imprisonment.
However, Ali is only 4 years old. A report from the BBC says that the Egyptian military claims his conviction and sentencing was a mistake.
Egypt native Ali was convicted of abhorrent acts alongside 115 others in reference to riots occurring in 2014 by Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Ahmed was a year and four months old when the alleged crime was committed, CNN reported.
The verdict, handed down Feb. 16, caused an uproar. As he interviewed the child’s father in a Cairo studio, TV presenter Wael Elebrashy asked the public how they could trust the justice system when they see events like this.
Ali was asleep as his father held him in the studio. Ali’s father Sharara began to weep, asking for help. He said he was petrified at the thought of his son being in prison.
The child’s lawyer claims that Ahmed’s inclusion in the suspects list was the result of a mistake made when officials neglected to submit his birth certificate. This mistake was further supported by a Facebook post made by an army colonel. He claims that the convictions made were meant for Ahmed Sharara, 16 who shares Ali’s first three names.
Egypt’s critics accuse the government of going into dissent since their military overthrew the nation’s President Mohamed Morsi back in 2013. Over the summer, Secretary of State John F. Kerry encouraged Egyptian authorities to target their campaigns at anti-government militants. Kerry has noted the importance of distinguishing between those who choose violence as means to achieve their ends and others who seek to participate peacefully in the political discourse, even if their words may sometimes make people uncomfortable.