Zaki in court in handcuffs for the second hearing. Trial postponed to 7 December, Patrick remains in prison –

Zaki in court in handcuffs for the second hearing. Trial postponed to 7 December, Patrick remains in prison –
Zaki in court in handcuffs for the second hearing. Trial postponed to 7 December, Patrick remains in prison –
from Marta Serafini

The student of the University of Bologna in Mansoura. Amnesty: worried that the allegations of propaganda and terrorism are still standing. The session lasted only two minutes. The lawyer asks for a postponement

Another postponement for Patrick Zaki, this morning in the Mansoura courtroom for the second hearing of his trial, which sees him accused of spreading false news.

The young man arrived at the court this morning in handcuffs, and then the student from the University of Bologna was taken to the defendants’ cage. And after two minutes of hearing, the judge withdrew to decide on the request of Zaki Hoda Nasrallah’s lawyer for referral in order to study the documents. An instance to which is added that of Zaki’s file, since up to now she has not been allowed to consult it except at the chancellery. Then after about an hour in the room, the decision: everything postponed to December 7th

In the classroom there was also his father George, his sister Marise who posted a prayer for her brother and an Eipr executive on social media this morning. An Italian, a Spanish and a Canadian diplomat are also admitted in the context of procedural monitoring with Italian traction that also involves non-European countries. Finally, two letters from Germany and the United States underlining that the two countries will continue to closely follow and monitor the case even though they are not physically present at today’s hearing. The journalists were admitted with warnings from shooting videos or taking photos and despite having tried to speak with Patrick they were removed from the prison of the accused. The student dressed all in white, the color of the defendants in the Egyptian trials. Even today he wears glasses, beard and pigtail.

Patrick, unlike the previous hearing, did not speak. To justify the request for postponement, her lawyer argued that it was Zaki himself who asked for it as he was not satisfied with the defense since she was able to read the documents in the Prosecutor’s Office only in a hurry, according to reports.Ansa.

Therefore, the second hearing of the trial that sees Patrick Zaki at the stand does not portend great twists dissemination of false news inside and outside the country, a crime that can cost a sentence of up to five years in addition to the payment of a fine. An article that the researcher expert on gender rights wrote in 2019 for an Egyptian online newspaper is accused in which he analyzed abuses suffered by the minority of Egyptians of the Coptic religion. Even the Zaki family of Christian faith.

During the first hearing in the court of Mansoura, Patrick’s hometown, the student’s lawyers had asked to be able to obtain the papers for the prosecution, a right not yet granted despite the fact that the accused has been in pre-trial detention for almost two years on charges related to terrorist activity. At the beginning of the month, with the indictment, the charge was changed into the spread of fake news, a crime that involves not 25 but five years in prison. In these days, however, the news circulated in the Italian press that, according to what the young man’s lawyers report, The initial charges, those of subversive and terrorist propaganda, linked to alleged posts published on Facebook and never seen by his lawyers, would also remain the responsibility of the researcher. There is enormous concern because the most serious accusations, those of subversive and terrorist propaganda, could still be standing, the comment coming from Amnesty International Italia.

It comes from Brussels instead a letter signed by 40 MEPs addressed to the President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen and the High Representative of the Union Josep Borrell which asks to give the right priority and urgency to the story of Patrick Zaki and to ensure that his fundamental rights are safeguarded against any violation, urging the need for a strong EU commitment for the release of Patrick Zaki. The promoters MEPs, Massimo Castaldo (M5S) and Pierfrancesco Majorino (Pd), promoters of the initiative, gave the news. We are very worried about the possible outcome of this process which risks being, like so many in Al-Sisi’s Egypt, summary and driven by the need to blatantly silence critical and unwelcome voices. We think that we cannot remain indifferent to this and that there must be a strong position of the leaders of the Union to ask for the immediate release of Zaki, as has already been requested by the European Parliament, conclude Castaldo and Majorino, referring to the clear resolution of the Parliament of last December 18. This is why we ask, among other things, that the EU delegation be present at the Zaki trial and that of other journalists, trade unionists, human rights defenders and civil society activists who are currently persecuted. We also need a strong and coordinated response between the states of the Union that imposes essential progress in respecting human rights on Egypt.

September 28, 2021 (change September 28, 2021 | 14:36)


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