The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR) has called for the release of 20 protesters who were arrested while demonstrating outside the Maadi metro stop on the third anniversary of the 25 January Revolution.
EOHR insist in a Monday statement that the 20 detainees “have not committed acts of violence”. The organisation stressed “the need to limit preventative detention as a precautionary measure to ensure integrity of the investigation” in line with international law. The group also called on the legal system to take into account during legal questioning the “immature behaviour of young people”.
The organisation pointed out that the continued detention of the 20 protesters is a violation of the Protest Law that “requires a fine and not detention”. EOHR called for their release based on the grounds that the protestors did not “resort to violence or weapons”.
Two days after their detention four female detainees arrested at the same time were released. Prominent activist Nazly Hussein was among those released. Before their release the Maadi prosecution had ordered the drafting of “Homeland Security reports to clarify whether the detainees belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood,” which was named as a terrorist organisation by the government in December.
Head of EOHR Hafez Abu Saada said that preventative detention during an investigation “is robbing the freedom” of those detained. He stressed that it is the right of those detained to go through legal proceedings and a fair trial, based on the principle of “human innocence”. Abu Saada added that even though law makers allow preventative detention, this should only be implemented unless the investigator sees an “urgent need” for it.
Over 1,000 people were arrested on the third anniversary of the 25 January Revolution as they demonstrated against the interim government, in some instances clashing with security forces. An independent count from the day has said the death toll of the day rose to 103 as more deaths were confirmed. The Ministry of Health’s official count on 25 January was 49.