By Nourhan Dakroury
Angry families tried to storm the Shubra Al-Khayma Police Station on Sunday in an attempt to regain custody of their detained children.
Belal Nabil, warden of Shubra Al-Khayma Police station, said the prosecution ordered the children to be released to their families.
“Some of the children were taken home by their parents yesterday [on Sunday], others will take them today [Monday],” Nabil said, explaining that those who come get their children have to have their children’s birth certificates with them for proof.
Authorities had detained 42 children, who are mostly residents of Atfeeh City in Giza, earlier on Sunday after they suspected that they were being transported to the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in, according to a statement by the Ministry of Interior.
“We received reports from citizens on Sunday morning about cars standing in front of an Al-Iman wal Tawheed store in Shubra Al-Khayma gathering children to take them to the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in,” said Mostafa Lotfy, head of the investigative department of the Shubra Al-Khayma Police Station, in an interview on the ON TV channel.
Authorities also detained Ahmed Youssef Sadeq, a teacher at an religious organisation in Atfeeh, according to state-owned MENA.
Sadeq said in the investigations that he was only in charge of taking the children to the store to buy them clothes, adding that he did not know what happened to them or where they were taken afterwards, MENA reported.
Rights organisations condemned children’s participation in sit-ins supporting former president Mohamed Morsi in a press conference held by the State Information Service (SIS) on 2 August, while the National Salvation Front accused the Muslim Brotherhood of using them as human shields in their protests in a statement they released on 1 August.
The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood had filed a complaint to the prosecutor general on 31 July accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of exploiting children in protests and calling for their removal from all sit-ins pro-Morsi.