The Cairo Criminal Court, which convened in the institute of Non Commissioned Police Officers at Tora, postponed to next Thursday the hearing for the detention renewal of Al Jazeera Journalist Abdullah Elshamy, who has been on hunger strike for more than 130 days.
Elshamy, along with 500 other suspects, were arrested during the deadly clashes that took place during the dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-in at Rabaa Al Adaweya last August. Elshamy was present in the area to cover the events for Qatari-based Al Jazeera Arabic. The suspects in this case have had their detention renewed a number of times pending investigation and have not yet been referred to court.
Last Sunday, human rights activists organised a protest in front of the Press Syndicate calling for the release of both Elshamy and Mohamed Soltan, also a detainee who began his hunger strike in January, fearing for their lives. Renowned human rights activists Laila Swaif and Aida Saif Al Dawla enter their 10th day of hunger strike on Tuesday in solidarity with the striking prisoners.
Also on Sunday the Doctors Syndicate sent official requests to Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim and the Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat, demanding that syndicate representatives be present among the delegation of human rights organisations monitoring the health conditions of Elshamy and Soltan.
The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) member Kamal Abbas said in a press conference on Monday that the council was granted permission by the Prosecutor General to inspect the striking prisoners; however, the interior ministry has been stalling, the council said, and has not yet set a date for the visit.