A police officer accused of shooting protesters in the eyes during last week's clashes in Tahrir turned himself in to the police, MENA news agency reported on Wednesday. News sources have alternatively reported the suspect's first name as "Mohamed" or "Mahmoud," and nearly all write the rest of his name as "Sobhy al-Shennawy." Al-Masry Al-Youm has been unable as of yet to verify the suspect's full name.
Egyptian activists and media figures had urged citizens to help find the officer, whom they accused of aiming at protesters' eyes during clashes with security forces near Interior Ministry headquarters last week.
A video clip allegedly showing Shennawy targeting demonstrators' eyes amid cheers from his colleagues has circulated on the internet.
On Thursday, Egypt's public prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for Shennawy and requested the Interior Ministry to hand him over.
Meanwhile, Egyptian news reports said the Cairo Appeals Prosecution started questioning the officer on Saturday and that no action was taken against him.
Graffiti had appeared near Cairo's Tahrir Square that said, "Wanted … help the people find him," alongside the officer's photo.
Some protesters at the sit-in in Tahrir are instead calling for the prosecution of ministry officials who sanctioned the use of tear gas and rubber bullets in Mohamed Mahmoud Street, where the clashes occurred.
Media host and journalist Yosry Fouda on Tuesday urged Egyptians, through the ONTV satellite channel, to help find the officer. More than once, Fouda stopped debates on his program — Akher Kalam, one of the most popular talk shows in Egypt — to display Shennawy's photo and encourage viewers to help capture him.
On Monday, Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy told Orbit, another satellite channel, that Shennawy had fled, but said that the ministry tasked a team of investigators to apprehend him. The revelation provoked angry comments by activists on social networking websites.
This article previously wrote the name of the accused police officer as "Mahmoud Waheed al-Shennawy." His exact name is still unconfirmed. We apologize for the mistake.