Detained photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid Shawkan saw his trial postponed once more to 6 September.
On Tuesday, the Cairo Criminal Court held a session for Shawkan and 738 other defendants in the case publicly known as the dispersal of Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in, which includes former supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie and other figures such as Mohamed El-Beltagy and Essam Erian.
During the session, Karim Abdelrady, Shawkan’s defence team member and lawyer at the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), tweeted that the defence lawyers for El-Beltagy and Erian accused Deputy Minister of Interior Hassan El-Sohagy of torturing them, demanding investigations.
The case includes the largest number of defendants among political cases brought to trial after the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. The defendants face charges of engaging in armed conflict with security forces, harming national security, attacking civilians, destroying public facilities, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood which was declared a terrorist organisation.
As the only journalist among more than 700 defendants, Shawkan nears three years in prison without formal conviction. The photojournalist spent the first two years in remand, as numerous and repeated calls for justice by local and international groups remained unsuccessful, and demands for his release were denied.
After two years without a trial in place, Shawkan is currently subject to court sessions in what seems to be a prolonged procedure, given the mass trial. Moreover, security forces have failed to transfer the prisoners to court several times, resulting in the postponement of sessions.