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Appeals court acquits revolution anniversary detainees

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Detainees arrested in Maadi on 25 January were initially fined and handed prison sentences

Muslim Brotherhood supporters (background) clash with supporters of the Egyptian government in Cairo on January 25, 2014. Deadly clashes erupted in Egypt Saturday as rival demonstrations were held on the anniversary of the 2011 revolt that toppled Hosni Mubarak, underscoring the country's violent polarisation three years after the Arab Spring.  (AFP PHOTO/AHMED TARANH)

Muslim Brotherhood supporters (background) clash with supporters of the Egyptian government in Cairo on January 25, 2014. Deadly clashes erupted in Egypt Saturday as rival demonstrations were held on the anniversary of the 2011 revolt that toppled Hosni Mubarak, underscoring the country’s violent polarisation three years after the Arab Spring.
(AFP PHOTO/AHMED TARANH)

The Maadi Misdemeanour Court of Appeals acquitted on Saturday 20 defendants arrested on 25 January against the backdrop of the 2011 revolution’s third anniversary.

Twelve of the defendants were sentenced 5 March to two years in prison and two years of probation. The court set bail at EGP 100,000.

The remaining eight, tried in absentia, were only fined; five men were handed an EGP 50,000 fine and three women were fined EGP 100,000. They were released from custody two days after their detention.

The women included Nazly Hussein, a prominent human rights activist who worked with the No Military Trials for Civilians group.

The 12 detainees were preventively detained at the Maadi Police Station for more than a month, amid conditions described by their lawyer Mahmoud Abdel Gawad as “inhumane”.

The group of Maadi detainees also included five minors who were acquitted by the Abu Attata Misdemeanour Juvenile Court on 2 March. The minors included one female, who was released two days after her arrest. Aside from a brief stint in a juvenile facility, where they complained of worse detention conditions, the other four stayed in preventative detention at the Maadi Police Station until their acquittal.

Most of the detainees arrested on 25 January were accused of involvement in a banned organisation, or one that aims to disrupt the law, or joining a mob, among other charges. The Maadi detainees were charged with assembling, protesting without a permit and displaying force. The group took to the street on 25 January to protest both the Muslim Brotherhood and the prospect of military rule.

More than 1,000 protesters were arrested during demonstrations marking the third anniversary of the revolution. They were divided into different groups based on the locations of their arrest. Their detention conditions have been condemned by several human rights organisations, including Amnesty International. The Ministry of Interior, however, denied torture allegations.


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