Egypt court says will issue verdict in 'Rabaa dispersal' case on 30 June

Ahram Online , Tuesday 29 May 2018

File photoL Riot police take their positions as protesters and activists called for demonstrations on the third anniversary of the Mohamed Mahmoud violent clashes in central Cairo November 19, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

A Cairo criminal court has said it will give its verdict on a case known in Egyptian media as “the dispersal of the Rabaa sit-in” on 30 June, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported.

According to Al-Ahram, the prosecution charged 739 defendants in the case with a variety of offences, including joining or leading an illegal group--a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood--and planning an assembly in Rabaa public square which was dangerous to the general security and public safety, in order to terrorise the public.

The defendants include the Brotherhood’s guide Mohamed Badie and a number of the banned group's leading figures, who are all in jail serving sentences for different crimes.

They are accused in the Rabaa case of attacking citizens, resisting authorities, destroying public property and buildings, and possessing firearms and Molotov cocktails.

Also among the defendants in the trial is photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid – known as Shawkan – who received the 2018 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize in April.

Shawkan, 31, was arrested in August 2013 while covering the dispersal of the Rabaa El-Adawiya sit-in in Cairo, where supporters of ex-president Mohamed Morsi had gathered to protest his ouster.

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