The attorney general for the North Cairo Prosecution ordered on Tuesday the release of four political activists arrested on 25 January during the third anniversary of the 2011 revolution, according to their lawyer, Mahmoud Belal.
Held in preventative detention for almost a month, the activists are part of a group of 79 detainees who were held at Abou Zaabal Prison, most of whom reported facing torture.
The 79 detainees are accused of joining a banned organisation (in reference to the Muslim Brotherhood), attacking security officials and protesting without notice.
The four detainees include Mohamed Al-Sayes, who suffered from a spinal disc herniation during his detention.
During a detention renewal session in February, another of the four detainees, Khaled Al-Sayed, complained of facing torture at the hands of security officials. Al-Sayed said in a written testimony detailing the account of his arrest and detention that he was blindfolded and forced to attend the torture of other detainees. He claimed security officials told him such detainees were being tortured “because of you, revolutionaries”.
After complaining to the prosecution of being subjected to torture during a detention renewal session on 9 February, Al-Sayed and three other political activists were moved from Abou Zaabal Prison to Tora Prison.
The Abdeen Prosecution also released on Tuesday 19 more detainees arrested on 25 January on an EGP 1000 bail each. They are among a group of 228 detainees facing charges of: illegal assembly, protesting without a notice, possession of unlicensed weapons, exercising violence against public employees and joining a group which aims to stall the constitution, among other charges.
On 12 February, Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat ordered the release of 55 detainees of the group of 228 on an EGP 10,000 bail. Aly Diab, one of the lawyers working on this case, had said at the time that the release order was issued for those who had petitioned their detention. Nine more females were released on 29 January, leaving more than 140 of that group still in detention.
Meanwhile, the detention of 68 defendants, also arrested on the revolution’s third anniversary, was renewed on Monday pending trial. Seventy-nine defendants are being tried by Azbakeya Misdemeanour Court for protesting without a notice, illegal assembly, stalling traffic and displaying force, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression reported. Their trial was postponed until Monday.
Five minors detained on 25 January in Cairo’s Maadi neighbourhood were released Monday after the prosecution failed to appeal Abu Attata Misdemeanour Juvenile Court’s decision to acquit the group on Sunday.
The minors were not released at printing time on Tuesday. One of their lawyers, Belal, said their release was pending Homeland Security’s investigation. Belal described their remaining detention as “unlawful” since it violates a court order, adding that their legal team is filing a complaint to the prosecutor general regarding the matter.
Over 1,000 protesters were arrested during demonstrations marking the third anniversary of the revolution. Their detention conditions have been condemned by several human rights organisations, including Amnesty International. The Ministry of Interior, however, denied torture allegations reported by those who had been preventively detained.