The Shubra Al-Kheima court rejected on Wednesday an appeal on the detention of lawyers Malek Adly, Sayed El-Banna, journalists Amr Badr, Mahmoud Al-Saqa, and two others.
The court’s decision came after a two-hour session in which defence lawyers presented arguments for the appeal.
The prosecution was questioned by the defence about the evidence against the defendants. Following the session, defence lawyer Mahmoud Belal said that the prosecution answered that the evidence was “not available” not them.
The six defendants were all arrested on the back of nationwide protests on 15 April that contested the transfer of sovereignty of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. They are accused of inciting for and also following protests on 25 April. The list of charges for the defendants includes attempting to topple the regime, disseminating false news, among other charges.
Adly, a prominent rights lawyer, was arrested on 5 May. Since then he has been denied visits from family and lawyers while remaining in remand in Tora prison in addition to claims of physical harm, torture, solitary confinement, and maltreatment by prison authorities, according to accounts by his wife Asmaa Aly.
Several local and international NGOs called for the release of Adly, condemning violations committed against him inside prison and holding the president, the Interior Ministry, and the Prisons Authority responsible for his physical safety.
Badr, Yanair Gate’s editor-in-chief, and Al-Saqa, a journalist at Yanair, were arrested on 1 May, in an unprecedented incident in which security forces stormed the Press Syndicate to arrest them. Outraged by the action, journalists staged protests at the syndicate’s headquarters, calling for the dismissal of the interior minister and an apology from the presidency. Since then, tensions are high between the syndicate and the ministry.
Adly, Badr, Al-Saqa, El-Banna and the other two detainees Sayed Gaber and Ahmed Ahmed Salem have been vocal advocates of the Egyptian sovereignty over the Tiran and Sanafir islands and opponents to the deal signed between the Egyptian and Saudi governments.