Court denies Shawkan's release
April 23, Cairo: Even after spending approximately 1000 days in jail for no apparent reason the Egyptian court has adjourned photo-journalist Shawkan's case.
As,Mahmoud Abu Zaid “Shawkan” stood for trial today along with more than 700 other defendants, journalists and Right activists had hoped for his release, but according to reports, the court adjourned the trial to 23 April in order to allow the defense lawyers obtain the case files and study them, and for the prosecution to submit the evidences of the charges issued against the defendants.
Shawkan has been in detention since August 2013, after he was arrested for covering the violent dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in. Though this trial was scheduled for December 12 it kept getting postponed."So though the period for pre-trial detention is only two years, Shawkan's case kept getting postponed and he was held in prison against the penal code," an Egyptian journalist shared, with The Oslo Times.
The Local media has also reported that Judge Hassan Farid, who is overlooking the case, has rejected a request to release Shawkan from prison pending trial. The defendants in the case have been charged with murder of citizens and police forces, organizing a militant demonstration and taking part in it, terrorizing the Egyptian people gathering and possessing weapons and explosives among other charges.
Also according to Amnesty international, an official from the public prosecution has directed nine phony charges against Shawkan and before the trial, Shawkan’s lawyers were denied access to key documents related to the case, including the charge sheet."When Shawkan was arrested in 2013, it was believed he was at risk of life imprisonment. Now, his fate could be much worse as he risks the death penalty," Amnesty international said.
The Oslo Times