UPDATE - Trial of hunger-striking detainee Soltan and 50 others postponed

Monday 01-12-2014 02:08 PM
UPDATE - Trial of hunger-striking detainee Soltan and 50 others postponed

CAIRO, Dec 1 (Aswat Masriya) – The Cairo Criminal Court allowed on Monday the lawyers representing hunger-striking detainee Mohamed Soltan access to the detainee's medical report, amid keeping him in jail pending the trial.

The court postponed to December 13 the trial of Soltan and 50 others over inciting riots following the dispersal of two pro-Mohamed Mursi camps last year.

Soltan was arrested from his home on August 27, last year after the deadly dispersal of two camps set up in support of former President Mursi following his ouster in July 2013. He has been on hunger-strike since January in protest over his detention, maintaining the longest hunger strike among those detained.

On hunger strike for over 300 days, Soltan’s life is believed to be in danger. He is the son of jailed Muslim Brotherhood leading figure Salah Soltan.

Halem Henish, one of Soltan's lawyers, said on his facebook account that the prosecution presented to court on Monday a letter from the Prisons Authority saying that Soltan is "pretending to be on hunger strike" and that he is "fully aware" of his surroundings. 

The court had rejected in a previous session on November 5 a request by 12 committees and civil society organisations to release the Egyptian-American journalist. The organisations had submitted a letter to the head of the court, calling for Soltan's release due to his poor health conditions.

Soltan is being tried alongside his father, the Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and 48 others for managing an "operations room" following the dispersal of the two pro-Mursi camps in August 2013. The defendants are accused of using the operations room to "resist the state and spread chaos."

Muslim Brotherhood leaders and supporters have often found themselves behind bars and facing courts since the ouster of Brotherhood member and former President Mursi in July last year. A court in Minya has served over 1000 Brotherhood supporters preliminary death sentences in March and April 2014.

The Brotherhood itself was listed as a terrorist organisation in December last year.

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