CAIRO - An Egyptian court sentenced a policeman who killed a man over the price of a cup of tea to life in prison on Wednesday, a rare lengthy punishment for police violence in a country that rights activists say has a culture of impunity.
Public anger over allegations of police brutality has been bubbling over the past year, with several incidents spilling over into skirmishes and protests, five years after an uprising in which police officers were a major focus of discontent.
The policeman sentenced on Wednesday shot three people in a Cairo suburb after an argument over the price of a cup of tea, killing one of them and causing a riot. The sentence, issued after he was convicted of murder, can be appealed. Life sentences in Egypt normally run for 25 years.
Activists say police brutality is widespread in Egypt, enabled by a culture of impunity. The Interior Ministry says abuses are isolated and incidents are investigated.