Patrick Zaki remains in prison, as was established in the hearing on the renewal of pre-trial detention. The 29-year-old Egyptian student, arrested in controversial circumstances on February 7, is in “very bad psychological state», As one of his lawyers, Hoda Nasrallah, explained. “There was no time to be close to him” and Patrick “hasn’t talked to his lawyers.”
Already a few days ago Zaki’s sister, Marise, had explained to Ansa that the researcher «lately he is becoming more and more depressed, feeling stuck and living in uncertainty about when all this will end ».
Zaki’s lawyers have asked for the replacement of judges who decide on his pre-trial detention “after having ascertained the numerous renewals of his imprisonment” (which the lawyers read as a fury towards the researcher) and “tomorrow or the day after” it will be known whether this request will be accepted, as reported by the lawyer of the student.
I diplomats of Italy, France, Canada and the United States have filed, as usual, written communications to express interest in the case. But their entry into court, to attend the hearing, was denied by the police.
– Enrico Letta (@EnricoLetta) April 5, 2021
“As always, the sensations on the day of the hearing are contrasted”, explained to Ansa Riccardo Noury, spokesman for Amnesty International Italia. “There is hope that 14 months of detention will be enough to find Patrick innocent. There is a feeling of one unpredictability of decisions on the part of the Egyptian judiciary and there is the expectation, as always, to know the outcome which, as often happens, will not coincide with the end of the hearing. Hope is always alive ».
Zaki, who is also a human rights activist and who, at the University of Bologna, was following a European master’s degree, in February 2020, at the beginning of a short vacation in Egypt, was stopped, interrogated and tortured at the airport of the Cairo, then arrested on charges of subversive propaganda and incitement to terrorism, according to some posts published on Facebook (even if the account, according to the lawyers, was not his). He faces 25 years in prison. For the first five months, the renewals of the pre-trial detention were fortnightly, while now the extensions are 45 days. In Egypt the Pre-trial detention can last up to two years.