CAIRO: Ten female students charged in 2013 riots at Al-Azhar University will be released after serving a period exceeding the terms they received Wednesday; they have been fined 216,000 EGP each ($28,300) in compensation for major damage to the facility, Youm7 reported.
The young women, ordered to be placed under probation for a year, are among 76 defendants in the case dating back to Dec. 28, 2013, when the Faculty of Commerce at the university was set on fire. Thirteen people were acquitted, including four women and a Turkish national, and of 63 who received prison terms, nine defendants were sentenced in absentia, according to Youm7.
The 2013 incident came in a series of other wide-scale damage inside the facility in anti-military protests following Morsi’s ouster.
The court set 2.16 million EGP ($283,000) as the cost of the sabotage of the Faculty of Commerce, dividing the figure over the ten students. Those who cannot pay the fine will fix some of the damage at their expense, according to the university’s assessment, a judicial source told Youm7.
A total of 27 defendants were sentenced to seven years in prison to be followed by five years probation, and 23 others were sentenced to five years in prison and a year under police observation. Three others were sentenced to three years in prison and one year probation.
Photojournalist covering the clashes acquitted
Photojournalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada was acquitted in the case of illegal protesting and belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood after 16 months of detention; most of the period spent in remand.
Ziada, who worked for independent Yqeen online news, was on site covering the protests.
Members of the Journalists Syndicate attended the hearing Wednesday and the previous two sessions. Ziada has claimed he was tortured, and witnessed torture of other prisoners while in jail.
However, at least nine journalists, now eight, are still in jail, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ.)
Mahmoud Abou Zeid, a freelance photojournalist, was detained covering the August 2013 dispersal of the Islamist Rabaa al-Adaweya sit-in for the U.K.-based photo agency Demotix and the Digital media firm Corbis.
The CPJ listed Egypt as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in 2013.