The summary of the legal support for journalists during the fourth week in February
March 4th, 2017


"Journalists against torture" observatory continues following up the hearings of the cases related the freedom of media and press through this summary of legal support during the week by the law committee team in the observatory inside courtrooms and police stations that works as a supporting shelter to journalists and the media freedoms seeking for a free independent space for work.
this report includes the summary of the hearings that the law committee of the observatory during 25 February to 2 March, there were 5 judicial hearings to journalists in many different newspapers, here they are

- the hearing of sentencing on the appeal of the two years' imprisonment submitted by the journalists representative "Yehia Qalash" and the two council members of the journalists syndicate

_ the hearing of the trial of Shawkan in the case of the dispersal of Rabaa sit-in

- the hearing of investigation with Tamer Ibrahim ,a journalist in "7 days" magazine for being accused of insulting and slandering and impersonation of a journalist.

- the hearing of the criminal and civil case that accuse Adel Hamouda ,the editor in chief of "Elfajr" of insulting and slandering a businessman

- the hearing of the renewal of remanding in preventive custody

Saturday 25th February

* Qasr Elniel appeal misdemeanor court ,held in Zienhom court, decided postponement of the of the scentence on the appeal submitted by the journalists' representative "Yehia Qalash", the syndicate agent "Khaled Elbalshy" and the general secretary "Gamal Abdelrheem" on the sentence of 2 years imprisonment for each of them for being accused of sheltering wanted persons, to the hearing scheduled 25th March, as informed by the lawyer of the observatory "Noha Abdelwahab" as she attended the hearing.

"Noha" declared that the accused in that case didn't attend the hearing, but "Khaled Dawood" and "Hanan Fekry" ,members at the council of the syndicate, attended, besides some journalists stayed in front of the court as solidarity to their syndicate as they were prevented from attending the hearing.

Qasr Elniel misdemeanor court had decided in the hearing ,dated 19th November, 2 years imprisonment for each of the three accused and a 10 thousand pound guarantee for each of them to stop implementing the sentence.

The public prosecution had referred Yehia Qalash, Khaled Elbalshy and Gamal Abdelrheem to an urgent trial considered by Misdemeanor court with releasing for being accused of sheltering wanted citizens and disguising them and publishing wrong news about storming the journalists syndicate in the case numbered 8100 for year 2016.

* he 28th Criminal Cairo Circuit, held in the institution of the police officers in Tura by the judge Hassan Faried, decided the postponement for hearing the witnesses of prosecution and presenting the CDs attached at the case that " Mahmoud Abuzied Shawkan", a press photographer in "Demotex" agency, is involved in, to the upcoming hearing that is scheduled 21st March. this case is numbered 43150 for year 2015 and recorded with the number 2985 for year 2015 total east Cairo, that is known by "the dispersal of Rabaa sit-in".

the hearing started with the defense of some of the accused submitting videos to be presented with the videos attached to the case in the next hearing before hearing the witnesses of the prosecution, but the court panel decided to send them to the technical committee to write their content, and assign the next hearing to the hearing of the witnesses.

The defense team insisted to present the videos in a public hearing before the report of the technical committee mandated by the Radio and Television union, while the judge refused their request and said "we will be informed of its content by the written report of the technical committee ", this make the defense leave and withdraw the hearing.

From the other side, the accused behind the dock started to shout against the court panel after their defense withdrew, this disabled the hearing, so the court decided a year imprisonment with labor for all the accused except for Shawkan and another 20, for breaching the hearing's order.

The court panel decided to refer the defense team withdrew to a disciplinary court and assign another 5 lawyers by the journalists syndicate side to defend the accused.

One of the lawyers illustrated that they had been handed 24 CDs only and this is not typical with the main number of CDs which is 57 CDs, the judge answered that the exhibits were with the court since they had been attached to the case and 26 CDs are excluded because they aren’t related to the case and 7 CDs had been damaged.

The judge "Hassan Faried" decided to expel the families of the accused from the courtroom because they breached the hearing's order, and they were prevented from visiting them.

In another contest, the representative of the public prosecution said in today's hearing that Shawkan had medical examination but the medical report didn't arrive yet and they are going to bring it the next hearing.

The security troops had arrested Shawkan while photographing the dispersal of Rabaa sit-in in August 2013, the he was remanded in preventive custody with the accusation of belonging to the Muslim brotherhood association and joining an armed sit-in.

* Bolaq Eldakrour prosecution decided to release "Tamer Ibrahim" ,a journalist in "7 days" magazine with the warranty of his ID, after attending the hearing himself while writing the content of the voice record attached in the investigation in the case numbered 36792 misdemeanor Bolaq Eldakrour, for being accused of insulting and slandering and impersonation of a journalist, because of a report published on the magazine about the divorce of a husband and a wife with different religions.

The prosecution continued the investigation with the journalist as he submitted a CD to the public prosecution of a voice record of an interview with the lady that filed the case and published the report with her acceptance, and he also submitted a certificate of the journalists syndicate that prove his work in the "7 days" magazine and signed by the public council of the syndicate, besides a copy of the authorization of the magazine to prove his work.

Ibrahim had been recalled in the past January for investigation by the prosecution and hear his sayings about the accusation of the divorced lady of fabricating a report about her divorce and publishing a forged document, this came after she had problems with her husband that reached the court soshe tried to solve it by throwing the accusation on the journalist.

* The Dokii misdemeanor court decided abatement of the criminal and civil case that accuse the press writer Adel Hamuda ,the chairman of "Alfajr" newspaper and "Nasef Kzman" the chairman of the newspaper administration and others of insulting and slandering, because of abandonment of litigation.

The case filed by "Sameh Adel Abu El-yzied" contened that Nasef Kazman ,the chairman of the editing of "Elfajr" newspaper and "Faten Ghalab" ,an editor in the same newspaper, and "Mostafa thabet" ,the executive editor in chief, had published a report in the website of the newspaper that hadn't any proof.

Tuesday 28th February

* Damietta criminal court ,held in the council chamber of courts complex in Damietta, decided 45 day renewal of remanding in preventive custody for investigation, in the case numbered 250 for year 2015 administrative Kafr Elbatekh, as said by his wife.

While speaking to his wife, she declared that the lawyer didn't attend the hearing because of the strike of the lawyers against the court objecting to the deceleration of the procedures of some hearings considered by the court, indicating that the upcoming renewal hearing scheduled on 10th April.

Sabry Anwar ,a journalist in "Elbadil" website, has spent his first year in the prison since he had been arrested in February 2016 from his home, and he had been forcedly disappeared for more than two weeks without knowing his place, then he had appeared in the central security camp in Damietta, and he was presented to the supreme state security prosecution, and he had renewal twice without a lawyer.

Sabry Anwar has been detained in Gamasa public prison since he was deported in September, and his health status has deteriorated lately. The administration of the prison prevented spending more than a few minutes while the visit, besides the Intransigence with his lawyer by the authorized sectors to show him the papers of the case to know the accusations or the reasons of detaining him.