February 24, 2016 9:37 AM EST

Egyptian officials admitted they had made a mistake in sentencing a toddler to life in prison, calling the error a case of mistaken identity.

The boy, 3-year-old Ahmed Mansour Qorany Sharara, was one of 116 people sentenced two years ago in connection with the deaths of three people during a public demonstration, CNN reports. When police came to arrest the then-16-month-old, the confusion led them to take his father instead. His father spent four months in custody, then 18 months on the run.

The military now says it was really seeking a 16-year-old by the same name, but critics say this does not inspire confidence. “The main problem with that,” said criminal justice researcher Karim Ennarah, “is that there are probably other cases that are not as striking where such mistakes are not corrected because you are not talking about a 2-year-old child, and the outcry is not as big.”


More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.

Read More From TIME
You May Also Like