Mahmoud Adel, a 14 year-old boy with bone cancer, was arrested in Alexandria on 27 January during the latest clashes near the Alexandria Security Directorate.
Adel’s hearing took place today at the Sidi Gaber Misdemeanour Court in Alexandria. The judge refused to release him, extending his incarceration to 15 more days.
Six other young men had a hearing today. One of the accused, Abdel Rahman Ramdan, is 13 years old.
“Both boys have been in a juvenile facility for the last week,” said lawyer Hamdy Khalaf from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). “The prosecutor accused them of using excessive force to prevent law enforcement, offending state employees and endangering the safety of the city of Alexandria.”
On Saturday, hospital reports and x-rays were presented to the investigator who insisted that the judge must decide on Adel’s release. The judge refused to release Adel despite the fact that he missed a chemotherapy session five days ago.
“We presented them with all the papers needed to prove Adel’s illness,” said activist Mahienour Al-Masry who, together with other activists, attended court to support the boys. “He has tumours on his bones and has to be given chemotherapy sessions,” Al-Masry added.
Mohamed, Adel’s cousin, confirmed that Adel missed his therapy session. “He does not go to school or work. He gets too tired to do anything,” Mohamed explained. He said that Adel was going to see a friend in Smouha when he was arrested. “The microbus driver told them to get off because it was getting crowded with protesters and he could not move,” Mohamed said. Adel got off and became curious about the laser pointers used by some demonstrators. He stopped to look at the lasers and was arrested.
“It was near Victor Emanuel square, around 700-800 metres from the security directorate,” said Khalaf. The microbus stop is in the same location.
Also passing by to catch the microbus was 13 year-old Ramdan. “He works as a ‘helper’ to a construction worker,” said Khalaf, who added: “both boys… [were] in a bad state, crying and in shock.” Khalaf appealed the 15-day extension on the basis of the boys’ age.
Clashes erupted in Alexandria on 27 January following nationwide demonstrations marking the second anniversary of the 25 January Revolution. Arrests have continued since.