CAIRO: An Alexandria court on Sunday ordered the release of 14 detained youth belonging to the April 6 movement, but lawyers are skeptical of whether the youths will actually be released.
Lawyer Mohamed Hassan El-Sirry, told Daily News Egypt from Mansheya Court in Alexandria, “There will most likely be a counter-appeal from the Ministry of Interior to keep them in detention for the full 15 days.
Supporters of the April 6 movement had staged a demonstration at the Journalists Syndicate Saturday in solidarity with their detained peers.
The youths were arrested last Wednesday evening as they sang patriotic songs on a beach in Alexandria to commemorate the July 23 revolution.
According to reports, numbers at the number of protestors reached over 300. This was partly due to the busloads of supporters arriving from Damietta to step up the campaign against the establishment of the nitrogen plant Agrium in their home town.
“After the protest we held a meeting to plan for the next step. We have set up three groups within the movement: One to contact the media, one to organize protests and the third to coordinate with political parties, Waleed Rashed, member of the April 6 movement, told Daily News Egypt.
“We have also been in contact with the Hisham Mubarak Center for Human Rights to set up a donation box to help the detainees, he added.
Since two of those being held, Youssef Shaaban and Mohamed Taher, are journalists with Al-Badil newspaper, the movement also took steps to coordinate a solidarity campaign with the opposition newspaper. However, Rashed informed Daily News Egypt that everything depends on the outcome of Sunday’s hearing.
El-Sirry added that 20 defense lawyers have been denied access to reports undertaken by investigative officers, which is “against Egyptian law.
Families of the detainees who had brought food for their sons, were also denied access.
But according to members of the April 6 movement, the detainees are in good spirits. One of them managed send a message saying, “We are not afraid, and after this we will no longer fear the government.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International on Saturday urged authorities to release them.
The rights organization claimed that two additional activists were arrested Wednesday and that their whereabouts are unknown. It said the two could be at risk of torture.
“Amnesty believes all 16 to be prisoners of conscience, detained for their participation in the protest, the group said in a statement. – Additional reporting by the Associated Press