Egypt: Al-Sisi’s Courts Arrests Lawyers Everyday

The Egyptian North Cairo Criminal Court, Sunday, arrested Mohsen Qurani Abdel Razek, who turned out to be a lawyer defending one of the detainees during the 35th trial session of 215 people opposed to the military coup, known in the media as Helwan Brigades.

The representative of the Public Prosecution read out the indictment against the arrested detainee number 176, known as Mohsen Sayed Qurani, while his defence, Ala Elmuddin, objected to the name of the detainee, and said his name is Mohsen Sayed Makhlouf.

The representative of the Public Prosecution demanded maximum sentance for the detainee, while the defence committee objected to the charges against him, noting that he is a lawyer of one of the detainees in that case.

The lawyer requested to be released. He also requested the court to consult the Civil Affairs Department about Mohammed Sayed Makhlouf, as the latter has to be the real detainee according to the trial order, and the person in question is not the one in charge of the indictment, and is his name is not the same mentioned in the trial order.

The defence added that what the Public Prosecution reported that the detainee, whose name is Mohsen Sami, is proof against him and the testimony of the detainee’s birth certificate, which the prosecution has submitted, is not an evidence that he is accused.

The defence requested summoning the first, second, and third witnesses to discuss the detainee’s investigations and to determine the source of those investigations, as they are the only evidence in the case before the detainee.

The court adjourned the trial session until December 12 to complete the proceedings.

The last session was held in secrecy and the journalists and all the media outlets were prevented from covering the session. Only the defence committee of the detainees has attended the session.

As he is a member of the defence committee of the detainees, lawyer Imad Mubarak demanded that two detainees be brought before a medical committee as they were subjected to torture, and the defence insisted on hearing the witnesses’ testimony.

During the past hearings, lawyer Imad Mubarak, a member of the defence committee of the detainees, revealed that the number of the accused persons in the case has now reached 212, after the death of three accused persons, two of whom fled the prison and died outside after being illegally shot and killed by members of the security forces, and the other detainee died inside his cell in Tora Prison, after being intentionally prevented from treatment.

Mubarak confirmed that prisoner no. 25, Imad Hasan Ali Ali, aged 40, has recently passed away in Tora prison due to medical negligence and deliberately denying him treatment.

Prisoner no. 99, the 23-year-old Mustafa Talaat Talaat, known as “sugar”, died outside prison during his arrest by the security forces. Talaat was murdered, against all possible legal motives, on June 6, 2017 following an incident of the Helwan bus attack, in which a number of officers and policemen were killed by unidentified gunmen.

Lawyer Mubarak added: “Prisoner no. 149, Mohamed Abbas Hussein Gad Sabra, aged 33, died on February 2, 2017 in Abdul Hamid Zaki Street in Maadi Gardens, during his arrest as a suspect for the case no. 79 of 2016 State Security Known as a ” Al-Haram apartment terrorist cell”. Thus, Sabra’s death had also no legal justification.

During the last sessions, the defence called for the release of two minors, Islam Jumaa and Yousef Salim, as being ineligible for prosecution in the Criminal Court. The defence also demanded the release of a disabled detainee, Muhammad Shuaib, who is accused of leading protests and inciting against Egyptian state institutions.

The defence also requested the release of Fawzi Tawfiq, who has spent three years in prison, as he exceeded the legal duration of pre-trial detention for sheltering a fugitive. The defence also asked the court to instruct the prison administration to enable the detainee Ahmed Kamal Shams to sit for his exams on scheduled dates.

Nonetheless, the defence requested all the prisoners who had been tortured by security elements to be referred to the Forensic Medicine Department, to examine their injuries and determine the causes of such physical damage.