On Saturday, September 16, 2023, the First Circuit of the Economic Court in Cairo sentenced the publisher and writer Hisham Qasem to 6 months in prison with hard labor and a fine of EGP 20,000 pending Case No.2021 of 2023 Financial Misdemeanor,
the ruling included a sentence for 3 months and a fine of EGP 20,000, in addition to EGP 10000 as a civil compensation on charges of slander and defamation of former Minister of Manpower Kamal Abu Eita, besides 3 months in prison for assaulting public employees at the Sayyida Zeinab Police Station.
The court also acquitted Qasem of the fifth charge of intentionally disturbing public employees. His defense team appealed the ruling, which is scheduled to be heard on October 7.
On Saturday, September 2, 2023, the First Economic Cairo Circuit of the Misdemeanors Court postponed the trial of the publisher, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Free Current Movement, to September 9, to extract an official photo copy from the investigations, a certificate from Case No.11012 of 2015 public funds, and prepare to plead and announce the civil lawsuit, while ordering to remand him in pretrial detention in Case No.2021 of 2023 financial misdemeanors, on charges of insulting and defaming the former Minister of Manpower and a member Presidential Pardon Committee Kamal Abu Eita, and insulting a public servant in Sayyida Zeinab Police Station, together with intentionally disturbing using social media.
Moreover, the court decided to remand Qasim in detention, then he announced that he begins a hunger strike in custody, in protest against his pretrial detention and the procedures of the case. The defense team requested to conduct a medical examination on him.
The Court heard the defense team plea who demanded releasing Hisham Qasim and reviewing the cameras in Sayyida Zeinab Police Station, in addition to discussing the prosecution witnesses in the incident of insulting a public employee in a report filed by a police officer and two police secretaries which was later included in the case. Furthermore, hearing the testimony of investigation inspector, together with demanding the secretary’s book of Sayyida Zeinab Police Station dated 20 and 21 last August, and the register records at the same time, including investigations into Report No. 11012 of 2015 regarding the workers’ emergency fund issue.
The defense requested the summoning of defense witnesses, namely Akmal Kortam, head of the Conservative Party, a member of the Free Current’s Office and Board of Trustees, and Gameela Ismail, the Head of the Constitution Party, and Ihab Al Kholy, to hear their statements.
The Prosecution had investigated Qasim in Case No.5284 of 2023 Administrative Sayyida Zeinab on charges of insulting, slander and defaming a citizen based on a report submitted by a police officer and two police secretaries.
On August 20, the South Cairo Prosecution Office summoned Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Free Current Movement to hear his testimony and his statements in Report No. 5007 of 2023 Administrative Sayyida Zeinab, in connection with “libel and slander” accusations filed against him by former labour minister, and the member of the Presidential Pardon Committee, Kamal Abu Eita.
The Prosecution decided to release Qasim on bail of 5000 Pounds, however her refused to pay it, asserting that he hadn’t committed a crime that deserve imprisonment, then he was summoned for investigation the next day in another case due to a report submitted by a police officer and two police secretaries, and the Prosecution decided to imprison him in a pretrial detention for 4 days and refer the report to the Economic Court, together with transferring him to the 10th of Ramadan prison. Then the Prosecution decided to renew his pretrial detention to be brought before the Court which decided to postpone the case to the September 9 session.