CAIRO: Alaa Abd El-Fattah and 24 co-defendants stood before court Wednesday to hear the prosecution’s eyewitnesses, who accused them of assault as well as illegally protesting, defense lawyer Amr Imam reported on his Twitter account.
Emad Tahoun, an officer at the Abdeen prosecution, who previously accused Abd El-Fattah of assaulting him and stealing his walkie-talkie, testified that the protests contained from 300 to 400 people and that the while the police tried to disperse it for violating the protest law, a group of people including Abd El-Fattah surrounded and assaulted him, Youm7 reported.
Activist Nazly Hussein, who attended the court session said he doubted the testimony, saying Tahoun “changed his statements regarding the details of the assault.”
Tahoun also admitted he was wearing civilian clothes, which is a violation of the Protest Law, Hussein added. According to the eleventh article of the 2013 Protest Law, security forces are required to be dressed in official uniforms while carrying out operations related to dispersing protests upon their leaders’ orders.
Hussein wrote on her Twitter account Wednesday that Tahoun previously assaulted her and her mother in the same protests. Despite that the defendants in this case are all males, the Shura Council arrests included a number of women who were taken to the police station and then ‘dropped off in the middle of the desert,’ thus released and not on trial, she said.
Reporting live on Twitter on the details of the session, Hussein said that Tahoun did not answer most of the questions asked by the judge and the defense team, referring them to the prosecution’s investigations.
While Wednesday’s session marks one year from the date the incidents took place, Tuesday marked the anniversary of the entry into force of the controversial Protest Law issued by former interim president Adly Mansour.
The Syndicate of Journalists held a Monday seminar for the occasion, with the presence of Imam, journalists and activists including renowned journalist and member of the syndicate’s committee for press freedoms Mohamed Abdel Qodous and Ahmed Harara, who lost his eyes during the 2011 revolution.
“That law has brought shame on Egypt,” Abdel Qodous said in reference to jailed activists, Youm7 reported.
The Protest Law was also mentioned Wednesday by the June 30 Fact-finding Committee in its news conference on Rabaa results, as the report urged its amendment, adding that some of its articles violate constitutional rights to peaceful protests.
The next hearing will be on Dec. 4, and until then the defendants are to remain in detention.
Additional reporting by Mohamed el-Sayed and Amer Mostafa.