Ramsis Clashes 16.08.2013
The Cairo Criminal Court postponed Tuesday the trail of 494 defendants in the Al-Fatah Mosque case to 8 February, due to the absence of the defendants, state media reported.
The 494 defendants include a number of high profile Muslim Brotherhood youth cadres and preachers known to have supported the group.
They are charged with murder, attempted murder, violating Al-Fatah mosque, protesting, torching public and private properties, attacking security personnel, and possessing live weapons, birdshot firearms, and ammunition.
The first trial session took place in August 2014, but was postponed as judge Mahmoud Kamel El-Rashid left the bench citing personal reasons.
Amnesty International reported that the judges “who made up a court panel which was due to hear the case recused themselves on account of objections raised by the defendants’ lawyers”.
El-Rashid was also the judge in the trial of former president Hosni Mubarak.
Among the defendants is Egyptian-Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa, who Amnesty International considered a “prisoner of conscience”, arguing that if convicted he could face the death penalty.
“Ibrahim was shot in his hand when the security forces stormed the building, but was not given access to medical care for his injury, and the only treatment he received was from a cellmate who happened to be a doctor,” the organisation said in an earlier statement.
Islamic preacher Salah Soltan, father of the hunger striking detainee Mohamed Soltan, is among the defendants.
Violent clashes took place around and inside Al-Fath Mosque, two days following the forced dispersal of the encampments in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in August 2013. The clashes left over 90 dead, according to Amnesty International.
The organisation argued that the high death toll was a result of the “reckless use of force by the security forces”. The Egyptian government, however, blamed the Muslim Brotherhood, arguing that police forces provided “a safe exist for peaceful protesters”.
On 16 August, after the Friday prayers protests started after the Friday sermon reaching Ramses Square in downtown. The demonstrations were confronted by riot police, taking refuge in the mosque. After hours of confrontations, security forces broke into the mosque and arrested scores of protesters.