Court exempts journalist Esraa al-Taweel from parole obligations due to deteriorating health
Courtesy: "Where is Esraa al-Taweel?" Facebook page

A Cairo court annulled a parole ruling requiring former detainee Esraa al-Taweel to report to her local police station once a week, her lawyer said on Tuesday.

Taweel was released from prison on parole in December 2015 due to her deteriorating health and partial paralysis. On her release, Cairo Criminal Court determined that the 23-year-old photojournalist should report to her local police station rather than be placed under house arrest.

Taweel suffered from a gunshot injury, sustained while taking part in a march to commemorate the third anniversary of the January 25 revolution. This injury resulted in temporary paralysis.

“All precautionary measures against Taweel have been dropped. She is now officially released,” explained her lawyer Halem Hanish.

Taweel disappeared following her arrest on June 1, 2015, along with her colleagues Soheib Mohamed and Omar Ali. She was last seen at a Cairo restaurant. She was missing for two weeks, with her phone switched off, before she was seen for the first time since her arrest in Qanater women’s prison.

Egypt’s Interior Ministry has been criticized internationally for the forced disappearance of a large number of activists and oppositional figures. Hundreds of individuals have been arrested without due process or the police informing their families, and lawyers have been consistently denied access to hearings and interrogations.

After 18 days of officials denying Taweel’s detention, she was brought before the office of the State Security prosecutor, who extended her detention by 15 days pending investigations, on charges of affiliation to a terrorist group (the Muslim Brotherhood), and the broadcasting of false news with the intent to cause unrest and disturb national security.

In November, the state-owned Middle East News Agency reported that Taweel had confessed under interrogation to plotting to assassinate an unnamed senior official in a suicide attack, claims that Taweel vehemently denied during her trial.

Calls, petitions and appeals for Taweel’s release were ongoing until her release in 2015.  


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