Photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known as Shawkan, will remain in jail until his next court session on April 23 in a case that includes 738 other defendants tried collectively.
Court sessions in the “Rabaa dispersal” case began Saturday after several delays related to the dock, which was re-sized to accommodate the large number of defendants.
In the procedural session, which The Cairo Post covered from court, Shawkan’s defense team requested his release after two years and six months in pre-trial detention.
Lawyer Taher Abu el-Nasr explained to court that his client Shawkan was arrested “while doing his job as a photojournalist” covering the 2013 dispersal of Rabaa el-Adawiya sit-in, while his foreign colleagues were released shortly after.
In statements to The Cairo Post, Abu el-Nasr added that he expects the trial to take a long time until a verdict is issued due to the huge number of defendants, “it might take the court 20-30 sessions to only hear the prosecution witnesses; this is something annoying and exhausting to everyone.”
“It might take years for justice to be served in this case […] even an acquittal, if ruled, after long imprisonment is not justice,” he continued.
Although he rules out a soon release of Shawkan or any other defendant, Abu el-Nasr said the defense team will keep requesting his release on medical grounds as he suffers complications of Hepatitis C infection.
On Saturday, it took the court around one hour to read out the names of all the defendants to ensure they are all present.