The detention renewal session for Mahmoud Hussien, arrested on the third anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, is set to be held on Monday morning. Activists had been anticipating the session to take place Sunday, “due to a mistake by the court clerk”.
Hussien has been in pre-trial detention for 505 days. The 19-year-old student was arrested whilst wearing a “Nation without Torture” t-shirt.
During the anniversary, scores of protesters were arrested, and tens were killed in clashes with riot police.
Hussien was allegedly arrested whilst on his way home from a protest, and has not yet been charged. Activists and human rights organisations reported that he has been tortured whilst in detention.
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International called on the Egyptian government and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to release Hussien “unconditionally”. It claimed “he was detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly”.
Pre-trial detention is a controversial process in the Egyptian legal system, and has been frequently criticised by rights group as a tool to pressure anti-government activists to confess to alleged crimes.
Previously, the Arab Network of Human Rights Information (ANHRI) called on President Al-Sisi to make a legislative amendment on pre-trial detention, determining its period and justified reasons.
A similar case is that of photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid, also known as Shawkan, who has been detained for over a year without a trial. Shawkan was arrested whilst covering the security forces’ dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda Squares sit-ins in August 2013.
His upcoming trial session is set to take place on 20 June.