The Gamalya Felony Court of Appeals postponed on Tuesday the appeal of 12 Al-Azhar students charged with “breaking into Al-Azhar headquarters” and “assaulting employees” to 25 February.
Twelve Al-Azhar students were arrested on 30 October 2013, when a protest by Students Against the Coup at Al-Azhar University moved from outside the campus to the Al-Azhar headquarters.
The Cairo Misdemeanour Court of Appeals ordered the detention of the students for 17 years; their appeal was set to be held four months later and bail was set at EGP 64,000. Only one of the students was able to pay the bail amount. The released student, Moaz Abdel Rahman, previously said that his family paid “the extravagant bail amount” to allow him to take his mid-year exams. The remaining students were not able to take their exams despite efforts made to the contrary.
The Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) held a press conference at its headquarters last November for the families of the students, elaborating on the “the legal violations in that case”.
The families of the detained students who spoke at the conference stated that their children were just bystanders at the protest, adding that some of them work to cover their educational expenses “and don’t have the luxury to be involved in politics”.
On Tuesday the Nasr City Misdemeanour Court of Appeals ordered the extension of the Al-Qahwa detainees’ (coffee shop detainees) detentions for 45 days pending investigation.
Last December, 10 student activists, who are members of 6 April, Al-Dostour student office and the Misr Al-Qawia student office in Al-Azhar University, were arrested from a coffee shop in Nasr City while discussing politics and were charged with belonging to a terrorist organisation, inciting violence and attacking a journalist, amongst other charges.