On 30 May 2016, a Military court in Cairo ruled in case 174/2015 known as the “Advanced operations case“, that eight defendants be sentenced to death, and the life imprisonment for 12. The life sentences include Omar Mohamed, who was arrested a year ago with Esraa al-Taweel and Suhaib Saad while returning from a restaurant, and was forcibly disappeared for a year.
Esraa el Taweel, an activist and photojournalist, was arrested in June 2015 while she was accompanied by two young men, Suhaib Saad and Omar Mohammed, while eating dinner at a restaurant. The three youths were forcibly disappeared for a period of time. Esraa emerged and was accused in a case, with Suhaib and Omar accused in another case. They were all referred to a military court.
About the circumstances of their arrest, Esraa told al-Jazeera channel in an interview aired on Wednesday:
“Three men stopped us and asked us for our identity cards and mobiles. They then put us on a minibus and we heard one of them on the phone saying “Congratulations boss, we found him, and we have two others with him named Esraa al-Taweel and Suhaib Saad, shall I bring them in too?””
In the interview, Esraa tells al-Jazeera “We disappeared for 15 days. On the fourth day an officer told me when he saw me crying, “don’t cry, I know that you and Omar have nothing to worry about and you will be freed.” All investigative bodies knew that Omar was not involved in anything and there was nothing against him.”
Esraa was released from her detention, while Omar was given a life sentence on May 29, for a charge he was proved innocent of. Activists launched campaigns for the release of Omar stressing he had no relation with what he was charged for and that Omar was just a young man who was fond of watching movies and visiting new restaurants.