CAIRO: Shubra Appeal Court of Misdemeanors rejected on Wednesday an appeal to release journalists Mahmoud al-Saqqa, Amr Badr and activists Malek Adly and Sayed al-Banna, who have been detained pending trial over “attempting to overthrow the regime.”
Banna, a lawyer, was arrested April 22 at a café in downtown Cairo, Saqqa and Badr were arrested at the Journalists Syndicate May 1 and Adly, also a lawyer, was arrested in in Maadi May 5.
They all face charges of belonging to organizations that aim to change the government, the constitution and the republican system, prevent state institutions from carrying out their duties, harming social peace, and disseminating false news.
The arrests preceded and followed protests on April 25 against the transfer of two Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia.
On Tuesday, Dokki Appeal Court of Misdemeanor revoked the five-year prison sentence handed to 47 people over protesting the islands transfer, and instead fined each one 100,000 EGP ($11,261.39), a staggering amount of money in Egypt.
One of the defendants’ lawyers, Mohamed Mahmoud, wrote on Facebook that the defense team will request the fine be paid in installments; after the first installment is paid and they are released, the fine will be appealed.