Cairo West Prosecution ordered on Sunday the imprisonment of eight Ultras Ahlawy members, affiliated with Cairo’s Al-Ahly football team, for 15 days pending investigations, according to Anas Sayed, one of the lawyers following the case.
Three defendants were added to the case after they were arrested early February on charges of forming crowds in front of a metro station and taken to Al-Amiriya police station. The case originally included five defendants.
Both groups are mainly facing the same accusations. The initial five defendants have seen their first detention renewal session on 31 January.
During various investigation sessions, prosecutors have accused the eight members of working on promoting the group’s purposes through verbal and written forms, possessing unlicensed fireworks and illegal publications against the Ministry of Interior and the state.
The members are also accused of inciting unlicensed protests, as their arrest came within the period of the anniversary of the Port Said stadium massacre, which took place on 1 February 2012 and led to the death of 74 Al-Ahly fans.
The members’ arrest was part of security attempts to thwart any scheduled protest on the anniversary day of the massacre. Following these arrests, the Ultras Ahlawy group had previously announced on the commemoration day that it is not preparing any protests due to threats, despite having been committed to commemorate the incident over the past few years.
Over the past three years, a number of Ultras members were arrested on accusations of inciting riots and bullying. Later, a large number of those members were released. Ultras football members are always portrayed in the media as “thugs;” meanwhile, the group views the Interior Ministry and the state as their enemies.