The No Military Trials for Civilians movement is calling for a demonstration in front of the High Court building Tuesday in solidarity with 26 Qorsaya island residents facing military trial. Meanwhile, another protest against military trials is scheduled to coincide with the trial of Sherif El-Hosary, a computer repairs shop owner, which resumes Tuesday morning.
A military court last week set a verdict session for 14 January in a case against the island’s residents who are battling the military over ownership rights to the island’s land.
The 26 defendants are standing trial on charges of resisting authority and committing acts of violence against the military after clashes between the residents and the military on 18 November left one resident dead and dozens more injured.
El-Hosary’s supporters have started a campaign to free him and are calling for a protest in front of C-28, the military police headquarters in Cairo.
He was imprisoned by the military on charges of “possessing military secrets” after a retired army brigadier general reported him. El-Hosary and the general had a financial dispute in which El-Hosary claimed the general owed him money.
A group of 13 unidentified men searched his house on 19 November and seized mobile phones and computer hard drives before arresting him. They took him to the military police headquarters.
El-Hosary said the hard drives do not belong to him and are the property of his clients, some of whom are military officers. He was detained for 45 days during which he stood trial in front of a military court before being released this week.
Mohamed Sabry, a Sinai-based activist and photojournalist is also facing military trial after he was arrested in Rafah while reporting on the killing of army soldiers in the region. Sabry is also a member of the No to Military Trials for Civilians movement.
Sabry is charged with being in a military zone and taking pictures of a military facility. His trial was postponed and will resume on Wednesday
Article 198 of the new constitution allows for military trials for civilians in special circumstances “as regulated by the law.”
Over 12,000 civilians have faced military trials since the 25 January 2011 uprising.