A misdemeanour appeal court in Alexandria has postponed the appeal verdict of four people imprisoned since January on the grounds of violating the controversial Protest Law.
The court postponed on Sunday the appeal to 12 October. The detainees had been sentenced in January to two years in prison and an EGP 50,000 fine. In February, another Alexandria court upheld the verdict against them.
The detainees are accused of taking part in a protest organised in solidarity with torture victim Khaled Said outside the Alexandria Criminal Court on 2 December. The demonstration came during the hearing of the policeman accused of killing Said.
The detainees in this case were arrested alongside five others, including renowned lawyer and activist Mahienour El-Massry; however, litigation processes for the two groups have taken different courses because only four of the defendants attended their trial, while the other five were tried in absentia.
An appeal was accepted earlier this month for the five defendants, including El-Massry, who was acquitted and released a week ago.
The four who remain imprisoned include political activist and member of the Revolution Socialist group Loay Al-Kahwagi , Omar Hazek, Islam Hassanein and Nasser Abou Al Hamd.
Al-Kahwagi said: “The prison bars won’t prevent us from sharing our dreams and laughter,” in a letter he wrote from his prison cell in June, which was published on the Revolutionary Socialists’ website.
Hassanein, 19, moved to Alexandria to study and was arrested on his way back from an exam which was in the vicinity of the court rally. Hassanein lost his father during his imprisonment and could not attend his funeral.
Hazek is an award-winning poet and novelist, who used to work in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. A solidarity petition was launched by a group of Arab writers and poets online to support his case.
The four detainees were charged on six counts, including protesting without prior notice, assembly, assaulting security personnel, vandalising public property and the possession of unlicensed weapons.