A hearing for photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid has been adjourned Tuesday to 3 August, as the detainee completes 710 behind bars without standing trial.
The session was expected to be held in the Police Institute in the Tora Prison compound, in southern Cairo, according to the prosecution’s statements to the defence. However, the session was moved, without notice, to the Fifth Settlement, a suburb in the far west of the capital, where the session was postponed due to “the security forces’ failure to transport the detainees”, according to the support campaign named Freedom For Shawkan.
Abu Zeid, commonly known as Shawkan, has been detained with 300 others for almost two years without trial. He was arrested while covering the security forces’ dispersal of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in August 2013.
Foreign reporters arrested at the same time with him were able to leave. Shawkan’s cellmate, Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Al-Shamy, was also eventually released after 10 months.
Shawkan was arrested on assignment while covering the deadly dispersals, but his camera, while confiscated, was not included in the police report on his arrest.
His lawyer, Karim Abdelrady told Daily News Egypt previously that “he’s facing 12 made up charges” that include attempted murder, possession of weapons and ammunition, threatening public peace, disrupting the constitution, and sabotaging public and private property.
Shawkan is suffering from hepatitis-C, and in his latest letter from prison, he said: “Despair penetrated my red blood cells and kidney, my brain rejects sleeping and my body sweats continuously.”
The clampdown on the press freedom in Egypt has been evident in the number of killed and imprisoned journalists over the past two years.
At least 18 journalists were behind bars in Egypt in relation to reporting on 1 June 2015, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which said the number is the highest in the country since 1990.
Also on Tuesday, the Cairo’s Qasr Al-Nil prosecution renewed detention for photojournalist Wagdy Khaled for 15 days after he was arrested in downtown Cairo while he was covering the funeral reception of assassinated Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat on 3 July. The photojournalist is accused of joining a terrorist outlawed group.