After Patrick Zaki is released, EIPR is thankful to all who stood in solidarity with him

Press Release

8 December 2021

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) expresses its gratitude to all who stood in solidarity with it and its researcher, Patrick Zaki, for demanding his freedom during 22 months of imprisonment. Following yesterday's court decision, Zaki was released pending trial today, Wednesday, December 8, from the Mansoura Police Department. Finding in releasing Zaki a cause for celebration, EIPR continues defending him during the rest of his trial.

Yesterday, the Emergency State Security Misdemeanor Court, Mansoura Division, ordered the release of Zaki, the EIPR researcher and master's student at the 

University of Bologna. The court also decided to postpone the case, No. 1086 emergency state security misdemeanors, to the February 1st, 2022 session, in order to hear the pleadings. Zaki was transferred to Mansoura Police Station this morning and was released from there. Zaki is accused of “spreading false news inside and outside the country” based on an opinion article he had published on the Daraj website. 

At yesterday's hearing, Patrick's lawyers made several requests that they qualified as necessary before they could proceed to present their arguments. The lawyers’ requests included that the court authorize the unloading of the surveillance cameras in Terminal 3 at Cairo International Airport from 4:00 to 4:30 on the morning of Friday, February 7th, 2020, to prove the fact of the arrest of Patrick at the airport. The lawyers’ second request was to hear and discuss the statements of the two police officers who drafted both the investigation report and Zaki’s arrest report. Zaki’s lawyers also requested to hear the testimony of the brother of the martyr Abanoub Nageh whose story was in part addressed by Zaki's article. Finally, Zaki’s defense requested the court’s permission to extract an official copy of the records of the sessions of another case mentioned in the same article by Zaki, namely an inheritance case records issued by the Shubra El-Kheima Court for Family Affairs in 2008. According to the lawyers, the last two requests were presented in order to prove that what was mentioned in Zaki’s article in question was not “false news”.

After the lawyers submitted their requests, the presiding judge addressed the prosecution, which expressed its willingness to plead immediately, before the judge declared that he would issue his decision at the end of the session. The court decided to bypass the defense's requests, to release Patrick George Zaki and to adjourn the case to February 1st to hear the pleadings.