8 months of detention the price for defending Jerusalem … Abdelaziz’s wife warns about his health deterioration.
Al-Soweifi’s brother launches “Your support strengthens us” hashtag: it gives him joy to know about your support, and that you’re calling for his freedom and that still remember him.
“It gives him a lot of joy to know that someone is sending his regards, supports him, and demands his freedom” said detained journalist Hossam Al-Soweifi’s brother after his last visit to prison, where Al-Soweifi is detained in the case known as the “Supporting Jerusalem Protest” case, which took place on the staircase of the journalists’ syndicate.
The case of “Hossam al-Soweifi, Ahmad Abdelaziz and Islam Ashri, goes back to December 7th 2017, when dozens of journalists and political activists sought to organize a protest condemning the United States’ announcement of the transfer of its embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem.
As expected, it did not pass without the usual oppression of journalists, as security forces arrested two journalists at the time; Hossam al-Soweifi and Ahmad Abdelaziz, along with political activist “Islam Ashri” member of Bread and Freedom Party, after the security forces surrounded the headquarters of the journalists’ syndicate.
The Front for the Defense of Journalists and Freedoms then issued a statement:
“The Front for the Defense of Journalists and Freedoms calls for the release of Abdelaziz and Soweifi and the Jerusalem detainees.”
The journalists were surprised after their protest against the decision of US President Donald Trump to transfer the American Embassy in the capital of the Zionist entity to Jerusalem, that the forces of the Ministry of Interior attacked them to arrest the three of them.
Those measures were repeated, after a statement by the secretary-general of the syndicate, Hatem Zakaria, in which he stressed that the state would take into account the feelings of Egyptians and their anger as a result of the American decision, which did not happen, making the journalists the first prisoners of Jerusalem and the movement expected to defend Palestine.
The Front for the Defense of Journalists and Freedoms stressed again on the right to demonstrate as a means of protest and expression, called for the immediate release of colleagues Abdelaziz and Soweifi and the rest of the detainees who got arrested against the backdrop of the protest, and
also called on the secretary-general and members of the Journalists Syndicate to intervene to release the two colleagues.
The detained journalists and activist Islam Ashri face charges of “demonstrating without a license, promoting ideas that incite to hatred of the regime, joining a group established contrary to the provisions of the law and the Constitution with the intention of disrupting state institutions, and preventing them from carrying out their work, and forming a media network loyal to a banned group. “
Ahmed al-Soweifi, Hossam’s brother, said in a previous press statement that he
“Learned that his brother became one of the defendants in case No. 977 of 2017 Supreme State Security, which began three months ago and known as “Mekameleen or Mekameleen-II”.
Journalist Ahmed Abdelaziz’s wife, then submitted a memorandum to Abdel Mohsen Salama, signed by 15 journalists from the members of the general assembly of the syndicate, demanding that the syndicate intervenes for his immediate release especially since the detained journalist suffers from a liver virus and three kidney stones.
The memorandum confirmed that Abdelaziz’s health had deteriorated completely, due to the delay of the removal of stones for a whole month, after doctors had stressed on the need to do the operation as soon as possible, and the detention obstructed that, as well as the interruption of the required periodic examinations, which jeopardizes his life.
As for political activist Islam Ashri, the Bread and Freedom Party – under establishment – criticized the prosecution of demonstrators against the decision of US President Donald Trump to transfer of the embassy of his country to Jerusalem, and the recognition of the capital of the State of Israel.
In a statement issued by the party, at the time of the arrest back in 2017:
“In a procedure which is no longer strange to the Egyptian security forces, Islam who is a member of the party along with members of the Journalists Syndicate Abdelaziz and Soweifi were arrested against the backdrop of a protest condemning the recent American decision regarding Jerusalem on the staircase of the Journalists Syndicate.”
Ahmed al-Soweifi, Hossam’s brother, after his visit on Wednesday, August 1st, said that his brother wants the support for the detained journalists to continue and that proper attention be given to this file. He also launched a hashtag called “your support strengthens us” to emphasize the importance of providing support to detainees.
He highlighted the state of joy and reassurance that Hossam was in when he knew that someone was talking about him, supporting him and calling for his freedom.
150 days after the arrest of the colleagues, the Criminal Court, began looking into the renewal of the detention every 45 days, until it was decided that looking into their case was set to be on Saturday, August 4th, however, their transfer could not be processed for security reasons the day before due to coinciding with the consideration of the “Dispersal of Rabaa” case.