Seven men arrested following a violent demonstration in the Talaat Harb area of Cairo on 22 January, but later freed, will remain free after a Cairo Court rejected a legal challenge against the ruling.
A further 11 detainees, also arrested during the demonstrations, are to remain in custody.
The prosecution appealed against the release of seven men last week, according to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), however the South Cairo Criminal Court rejected the appeal.
On 11 March, the same Court ruled to renew the detention of the other 11 men arrested following the protest for another 45 days pending investigations. It is the third time their detention has been extended.
The prosecution has levelled charges of “demonstrating without a permit, unlawful assembly, disrupting public and private transportation, and possession of fireworks”.
The youth movement ‘Ahrar’ claimed responsibility for the Talaat Harb demonstration on 22 January, in which around 80 protesters briefly occupied the Downtown Cairo intersection and clashed with security forces.
Daily News Egypt witnessed the protest turn violent, as those demonstrating threw Molotov cocktails, rocks and discharged fireworks at security forces who responded with live ammunition and tear gas. A building by Talaat Harb Square was also set alight and later extinguished by emergency services.
Daily News Egypt also saw protesters caught as they attempted to flee the scene after further security arrived, and were violently beaten by non-uniformed men and thrown into police vans.
Following the protest, Ahrar said on their page that security forces began arbitrarily arresting protesters and “all of those who looked as though they belonged to the revolutionaries”.
Ahrar, founded in August 2012, is an independent youth movement that states they are against military rule, remnants of the old regime (of former president Hosni Mubarak), and the Muslim Brotherhood. They also denounce what they call US imperialism.
Security forces have killed at least a dozen of the movement’s members, and arrested scores more as it has previously clashed with the group during demonstrations over the past two years.