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Court rejects detained journalist Youssef Shabaan's legal challenge for release

Shabaan is suffering from Hepatitis C, a condition that requires certain medical care not provided by prison

Ahram Online , Sunday 23 Aug 2015
Youssef Shaaban
Egyptian journalist Youssef Shaaban (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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An Alexandria court rejected on Sunday a legal challenge presented by jailed journalist Youssef Shabaan to suspend a 15-month sentence in the case known as the “Raml police station case”.

Shabaan’s lawyer presented the legal challenge at an earlier time due to Shabaan’s Hepatitis C condition that requires medical care that is not provided by prison authorities.

It was found that Shabaan was suffering from the disease prior to his arrest.

Earlier, the Journalists Syndicate delivered a brief to the court overseeing the legal challenge, asking that Shabaan be released pending a retrial.

The syndicate added that the current living standards inside prison are “life-threatening” for Youssef’s Hepatitis C condition.

Youssef, a socialist activist, is serving a 15-month sentence for protesting without authorisation and attacking a police station in Alexandria during the reign of former president Mohamed Morsi who was ousted in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

Three other defendants in the case, including human rights lawyer Mahienour El-Masry, are serving a 15-month sentence.

They were accused of storming Al-Raml police station in Alexandria and attacking its officers, as well as torching Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in March 2013.

A prison census conducted by the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on 1 June said that at least 18 Egyptian journalists were imprisoned for reasons related to their reporting, the highest number since the CPJ began keeping records in 1990.

However, in August 2015, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi reiterated that "no journalists are being held in Egyptian jails on crimes related to publishing", explaining that he cannot interfere in judicial matters.  

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