A group of seven children arrested on 19 November were investigated on Wednesday for a number of charges, including murder.
Investigations with the arrested were held in the presence of lawyers from the Egyptian Coalition on Children’s Rights (ECCR).
Fadi Wagdy, a lawyer with ECCR who attended the investigations said one of the children was arrested while sitting at café in the bourse area in Downtown Cairo and another was arrested while passing through the area.
A statement by the coalition said the children are charged with possession of firearms, causing violence, show of force and killing and causing injury to several people. Wagdy added that they are also charged with vandalising the Arab League building, among various other charges.
The charges, Wagdy said, were not against a specific person but rather “all of the charges are against all of the children.” He added that some children are facing additional charges, however.
“A child would be investigated for 10 minutes and the charges brought against him would be written in half an hour,” Wagdy said.
Wagdy said there was another young boy who was arrested but the lawyers managed to secure his release because his “uncle turned out to be a police officer but the [seven] others do not have connections. We tried everything to release them.”
The group, the youngest of which is 14, is at the mercy of the prosecution, either to be released or ordered detained, Wagdy said. While he expressed hope that the 14 year old would be released, there is doubt the rest of the minors will be.
“There is clear obstinacy,” he said.
The ECCR stressed in its statement the importance of implementing the Children’s Act, especially offering “criminal protection” for the children and “treating them like victims.”
Clashes erupted outside the Arab League headquarters near Tahrir Square on Tuesday evening, leaving two people dead. The Ministry of Interior announced arresting 14 “rioters” and accused them of using birdshot, fireworks, and Molotov cocktails against security forces. It also announced arresting a further four from Abdel Moneim Riad Square near Tahrir Square.
In Alexandria, another group of seven minors were arrested along with 14 others and are now facing trial.