Trial of Abd El Fattah, Shura Council defendants adjourned to Nov. 17

On Tuesday, the Cairo Criminal Court adjourned the trial of prominent activist Alaa Abd El Fattah to November 17.

Abd El Fattah, along with 24 other defendants, are on trial in what has become known as the “Shura Council case.”

According to a report by state-owned Al-Ahram, Judge Hassan Farid stated that the case would be adjourned until a time when the court could find a location in which they could properly display the video evidence against Abd El Fattah and the 24 other defendants.

Abd El Fattah and the other defendants are accused of breaking Egypt’s controversial Protest Law by organizing an unauthorized protest in front of the Shura Council in Cairo and of assaulting a police officer and stealing his radio. They are also accused of inciting riots, hooliganism, cutting off access to roads and the destruction of public property.

The 25 defendants were sentenced to 15 years in prison in absentia last June, and a LE10,000 fine. On the morning of the trial, Abd El Fattah, Mohamed Noubi, and Wael Metwaly were arrested outside the Police Academy building at the Tora Prison.

21 one of the defendants demanded a retrial, which has been continually delayed while many of the defendants remain in detention.

On October 27, shortly after Abd El Fattah was released on LE5,000 bail, the Cairo Criminal Court ordered the detention of 20 of the defendants until today’s trial. Following today’s session the defendants are to remain in jail until the next trial date of November 17.

Reports surfaced in local media that during his court appearance this morning Abd El Fattah publicaly accused the prison of abuse and mistreatment. According to a report from the privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm he told the judge, “we are being treated inhumanely.”

He stated that he was isolated from his fellow prisoners and that the way he was being punished despite his right to presumed innocence before trial.  

Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that the judge told Abd El Fattah that if he was being abused in prison he could file a complaint through his lawyer.

Abd El Fattah’s sister, Sanaa Seif, along with 22 other activists was sentenced to three years in prison for various charges associated with demonstrating in front of Ettehadiya palace.

In response to the imprisonment of their family, Abd El Fattah and Seif’s mother and sister have gone on hunger strike, starting on September 4. Following Abd El Fattah’s detention on October 20, they escalated the hunger strike saying they would abstain from water until their relatives were released. 

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