The State Security Prosecution ordered Dr. Essam’s detention on charges of:
- spying for the Palestinian organization Hamas;
- leaking classified information.
On June 16, 2015, a criminal court in Cairo sentenced him to life imprisonment. On November 22, 2016, the Court of Cassation overturned the verdict and ordered his retrial, but the court responsible for the retrial has yet to issue its decision.
Dr. Essam has been on trial for more than 3 years without conviction. The director of Amnesty International in Germany stated that “mass trial of opposition figures are grossly unfair and make justice more selective.” She added that “the Egyptian judiciary has become an instrument for the suppression of the opposition and free press.”