CAIRO: Two conflicting court decisions were announced in court hearings on Wednesday concerning the five detained members of the Quranist movement.
While the national security court cancelled the Ministry of Interior’s detainment decree, the misdemeanor court rejected their release appeal and renewed their detention for another 15 days.
The Quranists are a group of Muslims who believe that the frame of reference in Islam is only the Quran, dismissing large parts of the sunnah (actions and sayings) of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH).
Adel Ramadan, the legal representative of the Quranists, told Daily News Egypt that the case of the Quranists is dealt with in a controversial double legal status.
The Ministry of Interior used the emergency law and decided on their detainment. At the same time, the higher national security prosecution ruled that the members would be temporarily arrested. So, we are dealing with two legal decisions now, the detainment and the temporary arrest warrant, said Ramadan.
He added that the higher national security prosecution and the judges attending the case did not take into consideration that the other court had cancelled the detainment decree and did not tie both decisions together.
“The misdemeanor court has totally ignored the fact that the national security court has cancelled the detainment warrant. It just rejected their release from temporary arrest and even renewed the arrest period, said Ramadan.
He explained that the decision issued by the misdemeanor court cannot be based on that of the Interior Ministry.
“How can the court renew their temporary arrest after the detainment period is over now? There is controversy between the executive and the legal authority but each of them should be independent, said Ramadan.
For the first time since their arrest on May 29 the detainees appeared behind bars in the misdemeanor court.
Addressing the detainees, the residing judge asked the five detainees if they plead guilty for the charge of “contempt for religion, a crime punishable by law according to Article 98 of the penal code.
When they denied the charges, the defense demanded the court accept their release appeal.
“I spoke about the conditions of the temporary arrest decision before requesting their release. Are the conditions of this arrest applicable in this case? Will the release of these detainees threaten national security? That was my main concern, said Ramadan.
Families and relatives of the detainees were all anxiously waiting for the court’s decision and were not allowed to even speak to them on their way out of the court.
“They were framed. We protect Islam and we love it. How can we have contempt for religion? Naasa, the wife of detainee Abdel Latif Saeed told Daily News Egypt.
She said that on May 29, the police broke into their home in Shubra and confiscated all the personal possessions of Abdel Latif, which included a laptop, books and some documents.
“After that we did not know where they took them. This case tarnished our reputation in the area and people are refusing to deal with us. They think were infidels, said Naasa.
She added, “When I saw my husband behind bars, he told me that this is unfair and God is above all.
The Quranists used to publish 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 procedures were launched against him.
Naglaa Mohamed Ahmed, sister of Abdel Latif and Ahmed Mansour, told Daily News Egypt the whole case targets Mansour and his family as the detainees are all relatives.
“All they did is that they were retyping some books written by Mansour on the internet. They are normal books that do not include any false ideas and are published in Egyptian publishing houses, said Ahmed.
Mahmoud El Dahmash, the brother of another detainee Ahmed El Dahmash told Daily News Egypt that his brother has no links with any religious or political organization.
“All my brother did was work as a typist for the books of Ahmed Mansour, said El Dahmash.