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Maadi minors acquitted

Minors detained from revolution anniversary included a 13-year-old girl


Five minors detained on 25 January in Cairo’s Maadi neighbourhood were released Monday after the prosecution failed to appeal Abu Attata Misdemeanor Juvenile Court’s decision to acquit the group Sunday.

The five minors included four boys and one 13-year-old girl, Esraa Hemdan.

The oldest of the detainees, 17-year-old high school senior Mohamed Shazly, was arrested on Maadi’s Road 9 while coming from a physics class, his father said.

“A protest was taking place on the same street,” he said. “Policemen in plain clothes arrested him at gunpoint and took him to Maadi Police Station, and then to El-Marg Prison for four days where he was beaten.”

Shazly  was forced to drink water mixed with detergents until vomiting, the boy’s father said.

“When the prosecution appealed his release, Shazly was taken back to Maadi Police Station where he was detained until his trial,” he said.

On Sunday, 13 others who were arrested on the third anniversary of the 25 January Revolution from the Giza suburb of 6th October were released on bail, said Karim Abdel Rady, a researcher at the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information who is following the case. Among those released were students and minors, and Karim Al-Behairy, a journalist who was detained while covering the protests for Al-Badil newspaper.

Abdel Rady said Al-Behairy was physically assaulted during his arrest and that all his papers, including his press pass and contact list, were confiscated. The journalist was prevented from contacting his lawyer during the initial investigation.

According to the Ministry of Interior, security forces arrested 1,079 “affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood” on the anniversary of the 25 January Revolution and charged them with belonging to a terrorist organisation, blocking roads, vandalism, and protesting without a permit. The detainees were arrested from various neighbourhoods across the city.

Activist groups estimates meanwhile put the number of arrested at 1,341, with 103 killed during the anniversary protests.

A large number of the detainees were youth who were arbitrarily arrested and are facing torture in their detention facilities, said Ragia Omran, a member of the National Council of Human Rights in February.

Additional reporting by Aya Nader

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