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09/30/2021 Egypt (International Christian Concern) –  Patrick Zaki, an Egyptian Christian who is one of several human rights defenders imprisoned in Egypt, had his emergency trial hearing postponed again. Zaki has been detained for 19 months in pre-trial detention and had his first hearing on September 14 where he pled not guilty and requested to be released.

His next court hearing was scheduled for September 28, though local news reports that the hearing was delayed until December 7. Zaki remains in detention while he awaits his next hearing on charges of “spreading false news inside and outside the country”. Decisions made in emergency trials cannot be appealed in the courts.

Zaki, a graduate student at the University of Bologna and a researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), was arrested in February 2020 and has been detained ever since. His imprisonment has included torture and electrical shocks according to his lawyer. His charges originate from an article Zaki wrote in July 2019 titled “Displacement, Killing and Restriction: A Week’s Diaries of Egypt’s Copts”, which documents Zaki’s own life experiences and a Coptic Egyptian. He faces up to five years in prison for spreading “false news”.

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