Statement on the judges’ decision to recuse themselves from considering Alaa's appeal

The Court of Cassation shocked us yesterday with the judges’ decision to recuse themselves from considering Alaa's appeal hearing regarding the Shoura Council case. Instead his case has been referred to another judicial circuit, scheduled for November 8th. We were given two unrelated, though equally baffling, explanations: one was that the judges had “cause for unease” (استشعر الحرج) with regard to the case. The other was that the court’s schedule was overcrowded. The hearing date for Alaa's appeal has been set for months. Why is it only now that the panel of judges discovered their uneasiness? What could have caused that unease? Or, if we are to consider the second explanation, how could a court whose schedule is determined months in advance suddenly be over capacity? Alaa’s appeal was already postponed since January, when other defendants in the same case had their appeals considered.

We are waiting for an official explanation that does not insult our intelligence . In the absence of one we cannot help but accept the popular analysis that the court is evading its duties to render justice in order to avoid antagonising its partners in power.

Friends ..

We would like to express our love and gratitude to all of you. Thank you for your solidarity and support. We will press on, finding inspiration in Alaa’s words:

"All we need to do is to stand up for what's right. We don't necessarily need to stand victorious, to be strong, or even to be ready. We might be without a decent plan and we might lack organisation. The only thing we really need to do is to keep on standing for what's right. Thank you."

#FreeAlaa

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