Editing: Committee for Justice
Geneva: 28 June 2022
The First Terrorism Circuit of the Cairo Criminal Court, held at the Tora Police Institute on Tuesday sentenced 10 defendants to death in the case known in the media as the “Helwan Brigades”.
The case has been documented by the Committee for Justice in its online Justice Watch Archive.
The ruling was issued under the chairmanship of Counselor Mohamed Sherine Fahmy, and the membership of counselors Raafat Zaki and Hassan El-Says, and in the presence of a member of the Public Prosecution, Hazem Mohamed Amer.
Death sentences in attendance and in absentia
The names of the defendants who were sentenced to death in their presence are; Magdy Mohamed Ibrahim, Mahmoud Attia Ahmed Abdel Ghani, Abdel Wahab Mustafa, Musab Abdel Hamid Khalifa, Abdullah Nader, Abdel Rahman Issa, and Mahmoud Al Sayed Amin.
The court also sentenced to death in absentia: Yahya al-Sayyid Ibrahim Musa, Mahmoud Abu Hasiba, and Muhammad Ibrahim Hamid.
Names of those sentenced to life imprisonment
The same court also sentenced 56 defendants to life imprisonment (25 years), and they are: Hussein Zaki, Mahmoud Fawaz, Ahmed Al-Dali, Ahmed Abdel Badie, Hassan Mohamed, Rashid Abdullah, Mahmoud Qadri, Ahmed Saad, Hussein Ramadan, Saeed Massad, Khaled Mohamed, Ashraf Ali, Atef Ali, Badr Mohamed, Mohamed Abdel Jalil, Mustafa Ammar , Mohamed Sobeih, Omar Abdel Razek, Abdullah Mahmoud, Mohamed Gamal, Mohamed Sayed, Moaz Zakaria, Abdel Rahman El-Sayed, Hussein Mohamed, Mohamed Orabi, Youssef Nabil, Ashour Tawfiq, Mohamed Farag, Adel Al-Husseini, Uday Eid, Ahmed Bilal, Saeed Salah, Mohamed Arafa, Omar Abbas, Mahmoud Ahmed, Mohamed Mahmoud, Mahmoud Suleiman, Islam Kamal, Mohamed Ali, Mohamed Ibrahim, Ahmed Mohsen, Ahmed Junaidi, Mahmoud Bakri, Omar Abdel Raouf, Ahmed Mohamed, Abdel Rahman Mubarak, Hussein Mohamed, Walid Saeed, Mustafa Gomaa, Hisham Ali, Mohamed Saber, Mohamed Mubarak, Ramadan El-Sayed, Ayman Sayed, Mahmoud Mohamed Fathi, and Nadi Farraj.
Sentenced to 15 years
The court sentenced 63 defendants to 15 years in prison, namely: Ahmed Mustafa, Mohamed Hosni, Abdullah Karam, Ahmed Rajab Ahmed, Mohamed Zakaria, Mohamed Shaaban Mahmoud, Abdel Rahman Sayed, Abdullah Hussein, Mahmoud Abdel Rahman, Islam Juma Ramadan, and Youssef Samir.
Also among those sentenced to 15 years in prison were photojournalist Khaled Mohamed Abdel Raouf Mohamed Sahloub, and photojournalist, Alia Nasreddin Hassan Nasr Awad.
Names of those sentenced to 10 years imprisonment
The court also sentenced 35 other defendants to 10 years in prison, namely: Tharwat Mohamed, Osama El-Sayed, Wael Judeh, Abdel-Rahman Adel, Mahmoud Rajab, Salah El-Din Adel, Ahmed Hamdi, Mohamed Gomaa, Ahmed Adel, Ahmed Mohamed, Taha Mohamed, Mohamed Ahmed Abdel-Majeed, Mohamed Shehata, Ahmed Sayed Ali, Mohamed Sayed Mohamed , Mohamed Shaaban, Magdy Khalifa, Mohamed Mamdouh, Amr Shehata Mohamed, Youssef Sharif, Mostafa Mohamed, Omar Ramadan, Hammam Abdel Rahman, Haris Abdel Rahman, Khaled Hassan, Youssef Ahmed, Mohamed Ahmed Eid, Ismail Fawzy, Mohamed Shoaib, Mohamed Salah Mahmoud , Mohamed Sayed, Ahmed Saad Mansour, Younis Sayed, and Mahmoud Hassan.
The court also issued a ruling acquitting 43 defendants, and the criminal case for 8 other defendants was terminated due to their death.
Referral decision and investigations
Counselor Hisham Barakat, the former Egyptian Public Prosecutor, had agreed in February 2015 to refer the defendants in the case to criminal trial, with the continued detention of 125 defendants pending the case and an order to arrest the rest of the fugitive defendants and bring them to trial.
According to the indictment, the defendants, during the period from August 14, 2013, to February 2, 2015, in the Cairo and Giza governorates, led a group that was founded in violation of the provisions of the law, with the purpose to call for the suspension of the constitution and laws, to prevent state institutions and public authorities from exercising their functions, to attack the personal freedom of citizens, and the public liberties and rights guaranteed by the constitution and the law, and to harm national unity and social peace.
The case dates back to the crackdown launched by the Ministry of Interior in several residential areas in southern Cairo and Giza in the wake of a video clip that was broadcast on social media and YouTube in 2014. The video, entitled “Helwan Brigades are tired of the peaceful Muslim Brotherhood,” showed a group of young men carrying firearms, threatening to target “oppressive” army and police forces. The video ended with the chant: “There is no peace with the Ministry of Interior.”
As a result, the police forces arrested nearly one hundred and fifty defendants, starting in June 2014, and a range of charges were brought against the defendants, including participation in several terrorist incidents that were included in the case, including vandalizing a vehicle for the Helwan Police Station, sabotaging the Helwan Traffic Unit building and stealing its contents, sabotaging the 10th district police point, attempting to kill police forces in the vicinity of Helwan police station, attempting to kill police forces in the Arab Ghoneim area, killing police forces in the vicinity of Al-Azhar University, killing conscript Mustafa Khalil Gad, the killing of three recruits in front of Al-Azhar University, the killing of the police secretary Ramadan Fayez, the killing of Captain Mustafa Mohsen, the attempted murder of an individual police force from the Arab Al-Waleda police station, the possession of explosives and their detonation in the Al-Basha Cafe in Helwan, the incident of assaulting the administrative security officials in the university dormitory of Al-Azhar, the sabotage of a Helwan neighborhood building, the detonation of an explosive device next to the Al-Hakr al-Tibbin tunnel, the sabotage of a public transport bus, and the sabotage of a gas chamber in the Arab Al-Hassar marine area.
In addition, the defendants were accused of links to the incidents of sabotaging electricity transmission towers in the following areas: Al-Kuraimat, Al-Basatin line, Al-Laithi, Al-Kuraimat line in Atfih, Al-Akhsas village in Al-Tebbin, Al-Kuraimat line in Abu Zayed and West Al-Namayra areas.
The Supreme State Security Prosecution began its investigations with the defendants in the case, whose number, according to the indictment amounted to 215 defendants, of whom 126 are imprisoned, following the investigation reports issued by the National Security Sector and the investigations of the Helwan Police Stations, Al-Saff, Atfih, Al-Tebeen, which Captain Tawfiq Mustafa, officer in the National Security Sector, began writing on June 11, 2014.
Violations suffered by defendants
CFJ’s Justice Watch team had analyzed the case papers, pointing out that 25 defendants in the case had proven in the investigation papers that they had been subjected to psychological and physical torture.
The investigation papers also stated that 66 defendants had proven that they had been subjected to enforced disappearance and incommunicado detention from the moment of their arrest until the date of their presentation to the Public Prosecution.
CFJ’s team also documented the prosecution of 35 defendants in the case without a lawyer, and that 5 of them refrained from completing investigations except in the presence of their private lawyers. Most of the defendants also complained about the poor conditions of their detention; They were deprived of exercise, and they also complained of poor ventilation and ill-treatment inside prison, in addition to being denied family visits and the entry of books, in addition to the predominant complaint of poor health conditions and lack of health care they receive.