Walid Shawky ‘rotated’ into new case after 2 years in remand detention

Walid Shawky, a dentist and former member of the April 6 Youth Movement whose whereabouts have been unknown for over a month, appeared before the State Security Prosecution on Tuesday which charged him in a new case and ordered him to be held in remand detention for 15 days, according to lawyer Nabih al-Ganady.

Shawky was first arrested in 2018 and has been held in remand detention ever since in Case 621/2018. On August 23, he was ordered released yet instead he disappeared from detention and his family and attorneys did not know his whereabouts. 

On Tuesday, he finally appeared before the State Security Prosecution where he faced fresh charges of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, misusing social media and participating in illegal gatherings in Case 880/2020.

Article 143 of the Criminal Procedure Code sets the maximum limit for remand detention at two years. By charging Shawky in a new case, prosecutors effectively reset the detention clock, allowing authorities to keep him locked up without trial for an additional 24 months. The practice, which is known in Arabic as tadweer or “rotation,” has become increasingly common.

Two of Shawky’s fellow detainees, attorney Sayed al-Banna and publisher Ayman Abdel Moaty, who were similarly ordered released in the same case as Shawky in August, were both also rotated into Case 880/2020 after their two-year legal period in remand detention expired.

Other high profile examples of “rotation” include former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, who was charged in a new case in February two weeks before he reached the two-year legal limit for remand detention. The deputy president of Abouel Fotouh’s Strong Egypt Party, Mohamed al-Qassas, was also rotated into a new case in December.

In separate news, journalist Basma Mostafa was released from detention on Tuesday evening according to her lawyer, Karim Abdelrady, who posted photos on Facebook showing Mostafa after her release. Mostafa went missing on Saturday while reporting in Luxor, and was issued a 15-day detention order pending investigation into terrorism charges when she appeared at State Security Prosecution on Sunday before a decision for her release was issued the following day.

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