ESSC sentences a businessman, Youtuber and 23 children to 5-25 years in prison accused in case No.653/2021, known as “the Joker.”

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On 15th January 2023, The Terrorism Circuit No.1 in Badr Criminal Court, headed by the Judge Muhammad Saeed El-Sherbiny, as an Emergency State Security Court (ESSC), sentenced on Case No. 653/2021 Emergency State Security, which contains 103 defendants, including 29 children (15-17 Years old) and citizens of El-Suize city. The judge sentenced 38 defendants, including Businessman Mohamed Ali and YouTuber Tamer Gamal, to life imprisonment, 11 to 15 years, 9 to 10 years, 24 to 5 years, and 21 were acquitted. Notably, The court sentenced to Five-15 Years on 23 Children less than 17 years old. The Egyptian Front considers this sentence harsh, especially against children arrested on accusations of demonstrations.

EFHR monitored and documented several violations in this case and found that many defendants were arbitrarily arrested without being shown any arrest warrant or provided any legal explanation for their arrests. EFHR also documented that many defendants forcibly disappeared for different periods before they appeared before the prosecution, preventing their families from knowing their fate and whereabouts. The defendants also exceeded the legal maximum limit of pre-trial detention. However, they are still detained.

Background

In the second half of September 2019, many demonstrations took place in different parts of Egypt. As a result, Egypt witnessed a large-scale crackdown carried out by the Egyptian Security Services against political activists and citizens – whether they joined the demonstrations or just supported the demonstrators on social media platforms. This crackdown involved randomly inspecting citizens and their mobile phones in the streets, arbitrarily arresting about 2000 citizens and accusing them in State Security Cases.

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