In Egypt, the high-profile trial of a former parliamentarian and several journalists continues today, despite the fact the defendants have, through their lawyers, requested that the trial be postponed.
Former Egyptian MP Ziad Al-Elimi, the journalists Hisham Fouad and Hussam Mounis, and three others began their trials today (Tuesday 17 August).
However, their legal teams demanded that the trial be postponed, in order that they can prepare their defence.
They are accused of publishing “false news and statements.”
Al-Elimi, like his co-defendants, has been imprisoned since June 2019, as part of the so-called ‘Hope Coalition’ case (no. 930).
The Hope Coalition case began in June 2019 with police raids of the homes of several political activists, journalists, human rights defenders, and business figures, some of whom were in the process of developing a political current.
However, as part of the Egyptian government’s policy of attacking any genuine political opposition, members of the coalition were denied the right to political participation.
They were subsequently detained in appalling conditions. The Egyptian judicial and prison system has been sharply criticized by various states and international organisations, including the US and the UN.
In early 2020 Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) added Al-Elimi to a further case, no.43 of 2017, ensuring his further detention.
This tactic is known as “recycling”, or bringing a series of cases against political activists and human rights defenders in order to ensure they remain “legally” detained.
Al-Elimi is a former MP and co-founder of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party.
The trial is set to continue.