CAIRO: Three detainees held since April in connection with clashes which occurred between demonstrators and security forces in Mahalla, have been released.
Defence lawyer Ahmed Ezzat of the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression told Daily News Egypt that Mohamed Salah Marei, Mostafa Bedeir El-Sayyed and Rageb Gaber El-Mahdy, who were being held in administrative detention in Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab Prison were transferred to a police station in Tanta Friday, ahead of their release.
At time of press, he anticipated that they would be released later on Friday.
“I don’t know the reason why they were suddenly released today. There’s usually no logic involved in these decisions, Ezzat told Daily News Egypt.
On April 6 and 7, 2008 violent clashes broke out between demonstrators protesting against increasing food prices and security forces. Hundreds of people were detained in the Delta town over the course of the two days.
Mohamed Marei was translating for American photojournalist James Buck on the evening of April 10 outside the Mahalla police station, where a large crowd of detainees’ relatives were protesting the detention of their family members.
While the unconditional release of both men was ordered by the public prosecution office later that night, they were re-apprehended and again detained in the Mahalla police station without charge.
Buck was subsequently released the next day, while Marei was taken to an unknown location before being sent to Borg El-Arab Prison where he remained in detention for nearly three months.