Trials of Egypt's Soltan, Douma, Ittihadiya protesters resume Saturday

Ahram Online, Saturday 11 Oct 2014

Several high-profile trials linked to Egypt's protest law or seen as politically centred, including those of Mohamed Soltan, Ahmed Douma and Sanaa Seif, will resume Saturday

Mohamed Soltan (Photo: Courtesy of Freedom for the Brave Facebook page)

Several high-profile trials, including those of Mohamed Soltan, activist Ahmed Douma and the Ittihadiya protesters, will resume Saturday.

Soltan, on hunger strike for over 250 days, is detained pending trial with 50 others — including Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie — in the so-called “Rabaa control room” case.

They are accused of setting up an operation room after the violent dispersal of the pro-Mohamed Morsi Rabaa Al-Adawiya protest camp in mid-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.

Soltan, 26, was arrested following the Rabaa dispersal. His family claims he was not involved in politics and had returned to Egypt to care for his sick mother.

Photos circulated on social media Friday of Soltan chained to a hospital bed. His family said he has been moved to an intensive care unit in the prison hospital as of Tuesday, due to internal bleeding.

Meanwhile, in a separate trial, Douma, who was also on hunger strike but had to suspend his strike due to worsening his medical condition, is being tried alongside more than 150 others over clashes with security forces at the cabinet building in December 2011. He is already serving a three-year sentence for breaking the controversial protest law. Douma's wife said Thursday that her husband was transported from prison to Qasr Al-Aini Hospital, suffering from dangerously low levels of potassium.

Also Saturday, a misdemeanor court will resume the trial of 23 protesters arrested at a June demonstration where they were protesting against the protest law, passed last November.

They are charged under the provisions of the law.

The defendants include rights activist Sanaa Seif, photojournalist Abdel-Rahman Mohamed who works for Al-Badil news site, human rights lawyer Yara Sallam, and photographer Rania El-Sheikh.

Seif has been on hunger strike for 44 days.

Over 100 detainees in Egyptian prisons are on hunger strike amid a campaign that calls for the protest law to be revoked and for the release of all political prisoners charged with violating it.

Outside prison, a number of political activists and family members of detainees are also on hunger strike in solidarity with the detained.

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