An Alexandria military court sentenced Tuesday a student, who has been in detention for over 300 days, to five years in prison, according to the Observatory of Student Freedoms.
Anas Said, an engineering student, was convicted on charges relating to the alleged burning of a police car in Gharbeya in January 2014.
A statement issued by a popular online campaign, in Said’s support, has published a history of the student’s case. It states that Said was an engineering student in Tanta, and was an elected member of his university’s student union. Following the “coup”, Said became well known for involvement in protests “against the crimes of the military government” across Gharbeya governorate, attracting the interest of state security, according to the statement.
In March 2014, security raided his family house in the town of Qtoor on three occasions, but Anas was not present. His family encouraged him to move to Cairo to study and work. Following a random arrest from a street near Rabaa Al-Adaweya mosque on 30 May, Said was eventually transferred back to Gharbeya. There, a case was already prepared against him and others for allegedly burning a police car on 24 January 2014, and he has been in detention since.
According to the campaign, Said has witnesses to prove that on the date he was accused of burning the car in Tanta, he was in fact travelling to Cairo.
The statement adds that the witnesses that are to testify against him are working for National Security, and two are soldiers. The first witness testifying claims the car was burned at 2:30am, but that he did not see their faces. He saw two figures running, one tall and one short. The second witnesses said he woke up at 4am, yet remained unsure of the details for most of his statement.
A decree by President Al-Sisi in October 2014 put all state property under the jurisdiction of the military, such that any attack on state facilities fall under military court. This decree was issued six months after Said and the group were charged, but the military court law was applied retrospectively. The full charges included burning a police car, joining a terrorist group and hindering political operations.
Since the presidential decree in October 2014, the number of civilians referred to military trials was estimated to exceed 2,000, according to a member of the ‘No to Military Trials’ independent movement.