Family of prominent activist Alaa Abdel Fatah accused the general prosecutor’s office of “procrastination” in receiving the activist’s appeal against his detention. Fatah has been in prison on remand since his referral to Criminal Court, with charges connected to the dispersed Shura Council protest on 26 November.
A statement issued by the family on Sunday night and posted on Abdel Fatah’s aunt, renowned writer, Ahdaf Soueif’s Facebook account demanded the prosecution complete the case file for the Shura Council protest case so that the court could set a trial date.
Abdel Fatah and 24 others were referred to the Cairo Criminal Court on 9 December with charges of blocking roads, assembling illegaly, protesting without a permit, acquiring melee weapons during a protest, and attacking and injuring a public servant and stealing his personal wireless device. The court has not set a trial date since then, leading to the detention of Abdel Fatah and Ahmed Abdel Rahman for more than one month despite the end of investigations. The 23 others were released on bail on 4 December.
The statement added that the defendants’ lawyers were not given access to the case file.
The activist’s family also demanded that the prosecution investigate the complaints filed by Abdel Fatah and his wife against the Ministry of Interior for the “thuggish” behavior of police forces during Abdel Fatah’s arrest on 28 November.
“We demand that Alaa be allowed to appear at court on 5 January, for setting fire to the electoral headquarters of Ahmed Shafiq.”
Abdel Fatah, along with his sister Mona Seif and 10 others are facing charges of setting fire to the former presidential hopeful Shafiq electoral headquarters in Dokki on 28 May 2012. The North Giza Criminal Court is set to issue its verdict for the case on 5 January.
The family also demanded that Abdel Fatah should be allowed to send and receive letters as well as write for local, regional and international media outlets.
The statement also insisted that all prisoners on remand, including Abdel Fatah, should take part in the referendum on the draft constitution on 14 and 15 January “if they wish”.
The family’s statement was faxed to the General Prosecutor on Sunday, along with a family request to visit Abdel Fatah.
Defense lawyer Mohamed Abdel Aziz said that Abdel Fatah’s family and lawyers will be allowed to visit him. However, Abdel Aziz affirmed that the prosecution is being “inflexible” regarding allowing fellow detainee Abdel Rahman to attend his final exams.
Abdel Fatah faced charges of allegedly inciting violence against Muslim Brotherhood members under former President Mohamed Morsi. He was also detained for two months in 2011 under the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) for allegedly assaulting soldiers during the attacks carried out by army forces against a predominantly Coptic protest outside the Maspero building in October 2011. The activist was also arrested and detained under former President Hosni Mubarak’s ruler.