CAIRO: Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud ordered on Saturday the release of 19 defendants who were arrested following clashes with security forces in Omraneya over the construction of a Coptic church.
At press time, 135 people who were detained over the incident have been released; twenty-three are still in detention.
Lawyer of Orthodox Church Ramsis El-Naggar told Daily News Egypt that the decision was the result of a memo El-Naggar submitted which raised concerns over the social repercussions and resulting personal damages of the continued detention.
Such repercussions included the fear that the defendants’ academic futures would be in jeopardy if they were unable to attend classes at their respective high schools or universities.
El-Naggar added that the Giza prosecutor is examining the cases of the remaining 23 detained defendants and is currently in the process of ordering another series of releases before the Coptic community celebrates Christmas on Jan. 7.