Trial of photojournalist Shawkan delayed to May 17
Photojournalist Shawkan standing inside sound-proof dock, attending his May 10 court session in the case known as "Dispersal of Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in," in which he was arrested more than two years ago while covering the events. Photo by Kareem Abdel Kareem/Youm7.

CAIRO: The trial of photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known by his nickname Shawkan, has been further delayed until May 17.

The court viewed some of the physical evidence Tuesday that was seized in the case, in which 739 defendants, including Muslim Brotherhood leaders, are being tried collectively.

The court ordered the prosecution to bring the rest of the exhibits to the next session, according to the twitter account of Karim Abdel Rady, a member of Shawkan’s defense team.

Tweeting from the courtroom, Abdel Rady said that a number of rifles without ammo, a slingshot and locally made birdshots are among the physical evidence opened by the court Tuesday.

He added that the only evidence against Shawkan are “his camera and some pictures, however, they are not included in the case.”

Shawkan was rounded up among others while covering the police dispersal of the Muslim Brotherhood sit-in in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya square in August 2013. Two foreign journalists were also detained at the time, but were released shortly after.

Some of the accusations against the defendants are: launching arson attacks on public utilities, resisting authorities, possessing unlicensed weapons, blocking roads, premeditated murder and organizing an armed gathering in Rabaa Square.

Since his arrest, Shawkan has been remanded for over two years, in violation with the law, until his trial started in February 2016.

Today, Shawkan exceeded 1000 days in prison, a fact that has been harshly condemned by local and human rights groups as “unjustly”. They have called for his immediate release along with the release of other journalists who are being held for similar reasons.

In previous statements to The Cairo Post, Taher Abu el-Nasr, a member of Shawkan’s defense team, said that his client might remain in prison for a long time until the trial ends, due to the huge number of defendants who are being tried in the same case.

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