Home / Transitional Justice Project / Court Case Spotlight
Security-Related Charges and Designations

Al-Fath Mosque Case

Court / Presiding Judge

First Review: Cairo Criminal Court/Judge Salah Rushdy
Second Review: Court of Cassation

Procedural History

The court issued its verdict in September 2017. The Court of Cassation upheld the sentences on June 10, 2019.


In September 2017, the court sentenced 43 defendants to life in prison and 399 defendants to prison sentences ranging from five to 15 years; 52 defendants were acquitted. In June 2019, the Court of Cassation upheld the sentences of 215 defendants who had been handed down life, 15-year, and 10-year sentences.

Summary of Reasoning

The case dates back to events that occurred in the aftermath of the Raba’a al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-in dispersals in August 2013. More than 400 of the defendants faced murder and attempted murder charges. The remainder faced charges including destroying public property, protesting without authorization, attacking security forces, and hindering the work of national institutions.

Anecdotal Notes

Among the defendants in this case was dual Irish-Egyptian citizen Ibrahim Halawa. Commenting on the case, Amnesty International said: “This trial has been a cruel farce from start to finish. From relying on questionable testimonies to dismissing key evidence and depriving the defendants of the proper means of defending themselves, these proceedings expose the deep flaws in Egypt’s notorious criminal justice system.” In May 2018, a presidential pardon listed 103 of the sentenced defendants from the al-Fath Mosque case.

Legal & Judicial Implications

Because the case is a mass trial in which a number of defendants were prosecuted collectively, the case raises numerous implications regarding the right to a fair trial and due process. Although a number of the defendants were pardoned in this case, a pardon is a band-aid solution to a deep-seated institutional need for legal and judicial reform.