Egyptian court postpones trial of 23 Egyptian activists until October 16

The Egyptian government has imprisoned thousands simply for taking part in protests not authorized by the government. The trial of the activists will resume on October 16.

Among those arrested and on trial was Sana Seif, 20, who was arrested when she demonstrated against the arrest of her brother a well-known Egyptian blogger and human rights activist Alaa Abdel Fattah. The trial will resume on October 16. Alaa has been released but his sister remains in jail. Seif's mother told Al Jazeera before the court session started: "We don't know what to expect anymore. We've given up on understanding. If things proceed according to logic, it should be postponed, since the case was referred to a new judicial circuit and a new judge. But our lawyers are braced for all scenarios." The family was surprised when on June 11, Abdel was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was sentenced in absentia but was actually standing outside the court, where he was awaiting a summons to attend the trial. However, on September 15 he was released on bail until he is retried.
 Sana has been on a hunger strike for 44 days in jail to pressure the government to release the thousands it has imprisoned for simply protesting without permission. She also wants the government to revoke the anti-protest legislation. She has been joined in the hunger strike by hundreds in other jails, as well as sympathizers throughout Egypt. Sana and several other hunger strikers are in poor physical shape.
The anti-protest law allows for indefinite extensions of pre-trial detentions, and has resulted in more than 41,000 Egyptians facing prosecution or incarceration.
Another hunger striker is Mohamed Soltan a dual Egyptian American citizen who has been on a hunger strike more than half a year. and has been imprisoned for more than a year, having been arrested on August 25th last year. He was charged and imprisoned after he participated in a panel that reported on violations of the law by Egyptian security forces that dispersed vigils staged by supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi. He has been denied proper medical care. An Amnesty International representative said: "Denying medical care to someone who is critically ill is not just callous and cruel, but blatantly unlawful,Mohamed Soltan should not have been in jail in the first place, and what he is accused of should not be a criminal offence. Now, the authorities are toying with his life in this manner He should be released without delay."
 Back in November of 2013 Soltan released a letter he had sent to US president Barack Obama to mark his 26th birthday. Referring to a painful procedure carried out on his arm by a fellow inmate because he was denied proper medical care, Soltan said: "Your abandonment of me, an American citizen who worked tirelessly towards your election, and a staunch supporter and defender of your presidency, has left a sting in me that is almost as intense as the sharp pain emanating from my recently sliced arm."


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