A judge in the third section of the anti-terrorism court seated in Cairo has delayed the trial of Egyptian student-activist Patrick Zaki. The pronouncement of the 45-day delayed sentence was made on Monday following the hearing held on Monday instead of the earlier scheduled Saturday. The decision by the judge was shared on Twitter by EIPR, the NGO where Zaki works in a research role.
On Sunday the judge listened to the defense by Zaki’s lawyers who argued for an immediate release. They pointed out the torture the student had undergone when under the hands of Egyptian security forces.
What happened to Patrick Zaki?
The 28-year-old Patrick George Zaki relocated to Bologna for his doctorate. He was arrested and then detained on February 9 as he headed to his hometown at Mansoura.
Only later did the Egyptian authorities accuse him of the use of subversive propaganda. He was accused of publishing false news with the intent of arousing social disturbance, public incitement, and supporting the overthrow of the Egyptian state.
He was also accused of using social media to undermine public security and social order while instigating terrorism and violence. Critics argue that there is nothing new with these charges that are commonly lodged against dissidents and government critics.
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Zaky’s sister Marise argued for the release of her brother at a fanpage, where she alleged that he is sick. She went on to disclose that no one told them the reason behind the sentence. At the time of publishing this post, she had not confirmed speaking with his defense lawyer.
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The attention aroused by the Scarlett Johansen video in support of the University of Bologna seems to have given the family hope. Zaki is currently detained at Tora prison and suffers from back pains having slept on the floor for months.
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