The trial of the 24 people kept prisoner after last Saturday’s #noprotestlaw march was attacked by the police began today. Instead of reviewing the case for bail as is customary after arrest, the case was expedited to trial. Today, the trial was due to take place at the New Cairo Courthouse - which is nominally accessible to friends and family. But it was announced on the morning that instead the case would be heard at the Police Academy inside the Tora maximum security prison. Families of the detainees were not allowed in, and it was a significant struggle for even lawyers and journalists to gain access. It was announced that photography would not be allowed and one journalist who tried to take a photograph had his equipment confiscated and was removed from the courtroom. 

The defendants were by all accounts defiant and in good spirits. They chanted together against the government, the police and the protest law to signal they would not be silenced. 

The defendants lawyers outlined the case for why the defendants should be released on bail for the duration of the trial. The judge heard the arguments and then retired. 

After about an hour and a half word then came through that the judge had left and had told the Courtroom Guard to inform the lawyers that the case was to be postponed until September 13th. 

There is currently some confusion about whether the Guard got his information right - as it would be more fitting for the case’s next session to be heard on July 13th. The lawyers are seeking confirmation now.


UPDATE: June 30th. The next court session will be September 13th.