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A 4-Year-Old Egyptian Boy Was Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder

A 4-year-old boy was sentenced to life in prison earlier this week after an Egyptian court found him guilty of “committing murder” at the tender age of 1, The Independent reports.

On Tuesday, a Cairo court convicted Ahmed Mansour Karni of four counts of murder, eight counts of attempted murder, one count of vandalism and one count of threatening a police officer. At least 114 others were given life sentences for their alleged participation in the crimes, which took place in early 2014.

Karni's defense attorney Faisal al-Sayd says the child's name was likely added to the list of suspects by mistake. Though he presented the court with a copy of Karni's birth certificate to prove his innocence, al-Sayd believes the certificate was never seen by the judge.

He told the Jerusalem Post,

The child Ahmed Mansour Karni's birth certificate was presented after state security forces added his name to the list of the accused, but then the case was transferred to the military court and the child was sentenced in absentia in an ensuing court hearing. This proves that the judge did not read the case.

Lawyer Mohammed Abu Hurira, meanwhile, called the case “crazy,” and added,

The Egyptian scales of justice are not reversible. There is no justice in Egypt. No reason… Egypt is ruled by a bunch of lunatics.

While the Egyptian legal system is notoriously unjust — an estimated 40,000 people are currently imprisoned for dissent — locking up a 4-year-old for crimes he obviously did not commit takes the crazy to an entirely new level.

We can only hope the attention being paid to this horrific story pressures the Egyptian government to let the little guy go.

We're pulling for you, Karni.

Citations: Cairo court sentences 4-year-old boy to life in jail for murder (Jerusalem Post), Four-year-old sentenced to life in prison for murder in Egypt (The Independant)