Admin court cancels detainment decision, Quranists still behind bars

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

CAIRO: The administrative court revoked Tuesday a national security temporary arrest warrant against alleged members of the Quranist movement.

Five Quranists were arrested in the middle of the night on May 29 and were charged with contempt for religion, under Article 98 of the penal code, which warrants a five-year prison sentence.

The Quranists are a group of Muslims who believe that the Quran is the only frame of reference in Islam, dismissing large parts of the sunnah (actions and sayings) of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Adel Ramadan, their legal representative, told Daily News Egypt that the court has agreed to cancel the 15-day detention of the Quranists when the national security prosecutor failed to present relevant documents to a specialized court.

Ramadan said that on Thursday the defense team will present an appeal to the court demanding that his clients be freed from jail throughout the investigations.

We will present the appeal on Thursday and the court should be scheduling a session in the following 48 hours. In the next hearing of Aug. 8, the detainees will appear before the court for the first time since their detention in Tora prison, said Ramadan.

There is a double legal situation in this case, explained Ramadan. “We requested an appeal on the decision taken by the national security prosecution, but their lawyer rejected our appeal. But this rejection is illegal according to the latest constitutional amendments that allow any detainee to appeal his case, said Ramadan in a previous interview with Daily News Egypt.

The Minister of Interior, he says, had issued a warrant for their political arrest, while the national security prosecutor had only asked for temporary detainment. While the latter decision was reversed at a July 14 hearing, an Interior Ministry appeal has kept the detainees behind bars.

The Quranists spread their ideas through a website called Ahl El Quran. Ahmed Mansour, a former professor at Al-Azhar University who is currently a refugee in the United States, was the first to adopt the ideas of the movement in the 1980s, but no legal procedure was taken against him.

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