The Cairo Criminal Court adjourned on Tuesday the trial of 739 defendants in the case known as “Rabaa dispersal” to 7 February. The defendants in the case include Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid, known as Shawkan.
The court ordered the release of one defendant over health issues. It had previously ordered the release of 10 defendants over health issues as well. Shawkan’s brother, Mohamed Abou Zeid, previously told Daily News Egypt that Shawkan’s health is severely deteriorating in detention. Nonetheless, he has been denied medication.
The defendants are facing charges of vandalism, attempted murder, planning an armed insurrection, and belonging to an outlawed group.
Shawkan was arrested on 14 August during the dispersal of Rabaa Al-Adaweyya sit-in; he was among other journalists who also got arrested during coverage. However, all the journalists were released except for Shawkan. Demotix, the journalistic organisation Shawkan was working for, had sent an official document to the Egyptian government proving that Shawkan was covering the event for them, with no response from Egyptian authorities.
“Shawkan Photo Awards”, a competition held in honour of Shawkan and to remind other photojournalists of his detention, concluded its second round in December 2016. A ceremony is set to take place on 19 January to distribute awards to the winners of the competition.
The Rabaa Al-Adaweyya sit-in was violently dispersed by the armed forces. It was held in opposition to the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi by the armed forces.