Detainees accused of Black Bloc membership to be released

Hend Kortam
3 Min Read
Attorney General of the Supreme State Security Prosecution Hisham El-Qarmouti ordered on Saturday the release of eight detainees accused of being members of the Black Bloc group. (AFP File Photo)
The court rejected the prosecution's appeal of a Tuesday court decision to release most of the detainees (AFP File Photo)
The court rejected the prosecution’s appeal of a Tuesday court decision to release most of the detainees
(AFP File Photo)

A Cairo court rejected on Thursday a prosecutorial appeal of the decision to release 11 detainees accused of involvement in the Black Bloc.

On Tuesday, a court decided to release 11 of the 12 detainees on bail of EGP 2,000 each. However, they remained in custody because the prosecution appealed the decision.

Abdo Ahmed, a friend of some of the detainees, said they are returning to Tora prison to pick up their personal belongings. Afterwards, they will go to Azbakeya Police Station where they will be formally released.

In addition to the Black Bloc charges relating to belonging to a banned group, the detainees were also accused of possessing weapons.

The detainees were arrested last Friday and on Saturday, the prosecution ordered their detention for 15 days, a decision which they appealed in court on Tuesday.

Clashes broke out near the High Court on the day the detainees were arrested. Mahmoud Al-Qady, a friend of some of the detainees, said his friends were arrested while sitting at a coffee shop in Downtown Cairo, because they were wearing black clothing printed with the names of rock bands.

 Ahmed Atef of the Front to Defend Egypt’s Protesters said on Tuesday that the detainees were arrested randomly adding that anyone in the vicinity of clashes is in danger of being arrested.

Since April, at least 20 people have been charged with belonging to the Black Bloc group. Prosecutor General Tala’at Abdallah summoned 22 people in April for involvement in the group, but only eight were brought in.

Six protesters showing solidarity with those eight were also arrested and sentenced to five and a half years in prison.  The Arab Network for Human Rights Information denounced on Sunday the harsh prison sentences issued to the six protesters.

Masr Al-Qawia Party said in a statement on Wednesday that it is disturbed by the return of the practices of Mubarak-era state security forces under a new name.

Following the 25 January Revolution, the notorious State Security was renamed Egyptian Homeland Security. Masr Al-Qawia announced its full solidarity with all political detainees and their families.  It mentioned the details of the arrests of eight alleged Black Bloc members and said that many of them were arrested from their homes at dawn, including 16 year old Abdel-Rahman Al-Araby.

The party said it has presented a proposal to restructure the Ministry of Interior but that the proposal has been blocked by President Mohamed Morsi’s government.

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