Egypt Independent

Court adjourns trial of Aya Hegazy, her husband to April 20



Cairo Criminal Court adjourned on Wednesday the trial of Egyptian-American Aya Hegazy, her husband Mohamed Hassanein and six others being charged with child abuse and sex trafficking to April 20 to review technical evidence.

On Wednesday a court technician was unable to turn on a laptop, which was part of the evidence presented against the eight on trial, reported Mada Masr. A commitee was assigned to review the technical evidence in the case and will present their findings on April 20.

Hegazy, Hassanein and the six others are accused by the prosecutor of forming a gang for child abuse and trafficking through their organization the Belady Foundation. The prosecutor claims the eight were using minors to collect financial contributions and inciting them to join protests in return for money through an unlicensed organization in downtown Cairo.
 
The defendants denied the charges. The court banned journalists and photojournalists from attending Wednesday session.
 
Hegazy and Hassanein founded Belady Foundation in 2013 as a non-governmental organization aiming to support and rehabiliate homeless children, a widespread phenomenon in Egypt.
 
An informed source from UNICEF told Egypt Independent in January 2015 that the number of street children in Egypt are estimated to be tens of thousands, based on of information compiled by multiple NGOs. 
 
The source added that the real numbers have large variations, evidenced by the UNICEF website, which quotes the number as between 600,000 and 1 million. The source said the larger number is based off a 2001 report compiling other data from NGOs.

The Egyptian government denied the NGO findings, saying there were only 16,019 street children in all governorates. 

 
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm