Cairo Criminal Court postponed on Tuesday the trial of 739 defendants in the “Rabaa dispersal” case in order to examine more evidence.
Photojournalist Mahmoud Abou-Zeid, better known as Shawkan, is among the defendants. Several leaders from Muslim Brotherhood groups are being tried in the same case.
Lawyer Karim Abdelrady told Daily News Egypt that the court examined additional evidence on Tuesday and this is what is likely to happen during the next session as well. The pleading and witnesses’ hearings will come after that.
The ”Rabaa dispersal” defendants are facing charges of attempted murder, vandalism, planning an armed insurrection, and premeditated murder among other charges.
As for Shawkan, he has been held in pre-trial detention for over 1,000 days, which does not comply with Egypt’s penal code which stipulates that the remand period should not exceed two years.
Despite several letters sent from Demotix, an international organisation Shawkan used to work for, proving his affiliation to it, Shawkan is still being detained.
Photojournalist Mosaab Al-Shamy previously told Daily News Egypt that all the evidence proving that Shawkan is a photojournalist and his presence in the Rabaa sit-in dispersal was for professional purposes were given to the court, but instead of releasing him, they are forcing him to stand trial.
Shawkan was arrested in August 2013 during the dispersal of Rabaa sit-in along with other journalists who were released later except for him, raising international concerns about the freedom of press in Egypt.