Al-Galaa Military Court in Ismailia postponed on Sunday a verdict in Sinai-based photojournalist Muhamed Sabry’s military trial until 7 May.
Sabry, a Sinai-based activist and freelance photojournalist, is standing trial for “entering a prohibited military zone and filming a military facility” in January.
He was reporting on soldiers killed in August near the border city of Rafah when he was arrested. The military prosecution immediately referred him to a military misdemeanour court. He was released on 9 January but continues to face trial.
Sabry stated that the postponements lack any logical reason. “It only puts a strain on my nerves,” Sabry said, voicing his frustration over the postponement.
Sabry’s camera was confiscated upon his arrest on 4 January. It was never returned to him. “The camera’s my source of income since I’m a freelance photojournalist,” Sabry said. “I don’t have a monthly salary.”
If a verdict is issued on 7 May, Sabry would have spent four months without his camera. “I have a home and a family to support,” Sabry said. “I don’t know how to support them.”
Sabry said his lawyers specifically mentioned this point at court during Sunday’s session. “They tried to approach them on a humanitarian level,” Sabry said. “The court said the next session would probably be the last one.”
Sabry believes he is being punished through the continuous postponements before being sent to prison. This is the fourth time his verdict has been postponed.
Article 198 of the new constitution allows for military trials for civilians in certain circumstances “as regulated by the law”.