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Misdemeanours Court to look into Itihadiya Palace protest case

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Twenty-four arrested protesters taken to prison

Egyptian demonstrators help and injured comrade during clashes with police following a protest against the demonstration law, near the Presidential Palace in Cairo on June 21, 2014. An Egyptian court confirmed death sentences for more than 180 Islamists, including Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohamed Badie, after a mass trial that sparked an international outcry.  (AFP PHOTO / AHMED TARANA)

Egyptian demonstrators help and injured comrade during clashes with police following a protest against the demonstration law, near the Presidential Palace in Cairo on June 21, 2014. 

The prosecution referred on Wednesday the detainees of a Saturday demonstration against the Protest Law to the Heliopolis Misdemeanours Court, with the first session set for 29 June.

Police forces arrested more than 30 people on Saturday evening during a demonstration against the Protest Law that called for the release of those detained for violating it, and 24 of them were referred to prosecution while the others were released. During Monday’s session, the prosecution released one detainee from custody while renewing the detention of the remaining 23.

The detainees were moved to prison on Tuesday, before the prosecution order of referral, said human rights lawyer Amr Imam. The seven girls arrested from the protest have been moved to Qanater prison, while the men have been moved to Tora prison.

The protest was organised by the family of imprisoned activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah, and included his sister Sanaa Seif, who herself was arrested during the protest on Saturday.

On 12 June, political activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and 24 others were sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison for violating the Law.

“[Moving the detainees] was a strange procedure,” said  Imam, adding that he believes the government is punishing Seif and the rest of the protesters because she is Abdel Fattah’s sister. ” It is an obvious challenge between that family and the government,” he said.

Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights lawyer Ayman Abd Elmoati announced on Wednesday that more than 500 people signed an electronic declaration stating that they called for the protest. Among those who signed were novelist SanAllah Ibrahim, TV presenter Reem Maged, Seceretary-General of the Doctors’ Syndicate Mona Mina, National Council for Human Rights member Ragia Omran, El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture founder Aida Seif Al-Dawla, and Al Dostour Party spokesman Khaled Dawoud.

The Revolutionary Front had called for signing the declaration on Monday.

The protest, numbering around 500 people, was heading to Itihadiya Palace before changing its route upon encountering “intensified security forces”, according to journalist and 6 April member Ali Halaby.

The detained are accused of violating the Protest Law, blocking roads, and damaging public and private property, including allegedly damaging a police vehicle and a shop window.

The 6 April Movement (Democratic Front) said in a Saturday statement that security forces had been aided by “thugs” armed with melee weapons, teargas, and birdshot. The movement said this was to “terrorise innocent people and assault peaceful youth.”

The Ministry of Interior’s media office said that between 60 and 70 persons assembled in Salah Al-Deen and Al-Ismailia Squares and blocked the road, causing traffic. The protesters and residents in the area then began to pelt each other with rocks, prompting security forces to intervene.

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Aya Nader

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