CAIRO: The trial of Photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known by his nickname Shawkan, in the “Rabaa Dispersal” case was adjourned to May 10.
Shawkan along with 738 co-defendants, including Muslim Brotherhood leaders, are being tried collectively over charges including launching arson attacks on public utilities, resisting authorities, possessing unlicensed weapons, blocking roads, premeditated murder and setting an armed gathering in Rabaa square.
The trial kicked off March 26 after several delays related to the dock, which was re-seized to accommodate the large number of defendants.
During the last session, 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.”
The prolonged pre-trial detention of Shawkan was highly condemned by human rights and press associations as “unjustly,” calling for his immediate release along with other journalists landing behind bars for fulfilling their job.