Court adjourns trial of hunger-striking activist and others to 23 September

Ahram Online , Wednesday 17 Sep 2014

Prominent activist Ahmed Douma who is currently on a hunger strike demanded that the court's judges panel step down

Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma
File photo: Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma stands behind bars during his trial at the New Cairo court, on the outskirts of Cairo June 3, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

A Cairo criminal court has adjourned the trial of 269 activists and protesters including prominent activist Ahmed Douma to 23 September.

The accused stand trial for attacking the cabinet building and security personnel in December 2011. They are also accused of torching the Scientific Institute in downtown Cairo.

Ahmed Douma, demanded that the court's judges' panel to step down today because of his mistrust.

"That panel of judges does not hide its hate of the 25 January revolution that I belong to, so I cannot trust its procedures," Douma said.    

In his words to the judges, Douma also demanded to be seated outside the glass cage in the courtroom so that he could breathe normally in a wheelchair.

Douma who has been on a hunger strike for 23 days arrived in an ambulance from Torah Prison and was transferred to the courtroom on a wheelchair.

From its side the court refused to step down. Douma's lawyers Khaled Ali and Nasser Amin also announced that they will begin legal procedures to request that the court to step down.

During the trial's session, prosecution showed a video clip filmed during the clashes that spanned five days between protesters and army forces.

Ten video clips from YouTube were shown featuring testimonies of journalists and activists as well as footage of security forces beating protesters during the clashes where at least 18 were killed and hundreds were injured.

On 16 December 2011, troops forcibly dispersed a three-week long sit-in at the cabinet’s headquarters in downtown Cairo.

Douma has been on a hunger strike for 23 days demanding his release from prison as well the cancellation of the protest law. Douma was already sentenced to three years in prison for illegal protesting.

This is not the first time the 26-year-old activist go on a hunger strike, he also did so twice in the past month. This is considered the longest period of hunger strike for him.

Revolutionary and political figures demanded the Egyptian government to release Ahmed Douma and transfer him to a hospital to receive an appropriate medical care. 

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