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Monday, 24 February 2020

Egypt court says hunger striking Soltan must remain in jail

Mohamed Soltan, on trial in the 'Rabaa control room' case, has been on hunger strike for 308 days

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din, Monday 1 Dec 2014
Mohamed Soltan
A photo for Mohamed Soltan in a previous session of the trial (Photo : Courtesy of Freedom for the Brave Facebook page)
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Cairo criminal court adjourned on Monday the 'Rabaa control room trial' of Mohamed Soltan and 50 others until 13 December.

It also rejected a request to release Soltan, who has been on hunger strike for 308 days, on medical grounds.

Soltan and the 50 other defendants, including top Muslim Brotherhood leaders, face charges of setting up an operations room during the Rabaa Al-Adawiya protest camp in July/August 2013, as part of plans to defy the state and spread chaos, as well as plot attacks on police stations, private property and churches.

On Monday, the court allowed Soltan's defence team to examine his medical reports.

The court also turned down requests to release two other defendants in the case on health grounds: Hany Salah, the former managing editor of Al-Youm Al-Sabae newspaper, and Fathy Ibrahim Shehabeddin.

Defence requests to release Soltan have been presented at the start of every session, but were accepted by the court.

Soltan's family says he was not involved in politics and had returned to Egypt to care for his sick mother.

His father, Saleh Soltan, also a defendant in the case, is a leading Islamic preacher who was rounded up by authorities in a crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

A number of detainees in Egyptian prisons are on hunger strike to protest their detention and call for the repeal of the controversial protest law under which hundreds have been arrested.

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