Thursday, December 8, 2016

The arrest and release of Azza Soliman and that other trial

At exactly 1:39 PM Cairo local time Wednesday , the family of Egyptian lawyer and renowned woman right Azza Soliman announced that security forces arrested her from her house by the investigation judge in the infamous NGOs case.

Azza Soliman
Azza Soliman 
Her son Nadeem Abdel Gawad kept the people updated as the head and co-founder of Centre for Egyptian Women Legal Assistance (CEWLA) moved from Misr El-Gedida police station to New Cairo Court to be questioned by the investigation judge in the infamous case.

For nearly seven or eight hours and accompanied by many lawyers and human rights activist , Soliman was questioned by the judge over the accusations of receiving foreign funds with an aim to harm the national security , founding an illegal entity that engages in NGO activity "!!!!" and tax  evasion !!!

After nearly 8 hours , she was released on LE 20,000 bail pending investigation in the infamous case.

Azza Soliman made the headlines technically in Egypt as foreign media focused on her case as another sign of the crackdown on civil society and NGOs as well human rights activists.
It  also came days after passing the infamous NGOs law.

She and a number of human rights activists including Gamal Eid and Mozn Hassan are barred from travel and their assets have been frozen as the Justice ministry re-opened the investigation of the old illegal foreign funding case in March.

Now as I hinted above , all the media focused on the NGOs case but they forgot a very critical and important fact about Soliman.

Azza Soliman is a key eye-witness in the trial of Shaimaa El-Sabbagh murder or to be accurate the retrial of Shaimaa El-Sabbagh murder.
Since coming forward on 25 January 2015 with her testimony publicly on the shooting of El-Sabbagh and Soliman began to face trouble.

 Above , the famous testimony of Soliman on how she witnessed what happened at Talaat Harb square on that 24 January 2015
First , she found herself accused of illegal protesting  during the trial of El-Sabbagh instead of being an eye-witness !! Then the court acquitted her !!
In June 2015, a police officer was sentenced to 15-years in jail for manslaughter in the leftist activist murder case but then in February 2016 an appeal court overturned the conviction and ordered a retrial.
Now, the question running in mind since knowing the news of Soliman's arrest : Will she be included to the retrial as an eye-witness or her testimony will be excluded because of her legal trouble !????

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