Abdeen Misdemeanour Court acquitted Tuesday three defendants accused of breaking the Protest Law.
Five suspects were arrested during a protest in front of the Press Syndicate last May in solidarity with labour activist and lawyer Mahienour El-Massry.
The three suspects, Ahmed Adel, Gazy Farag, and Hussien Abdel Kereem, were charged with protesting without permit, assembly and possession of stones.
According to the defendants’ lawyer Fady Wagdy from El Nadeem Center, his clients were arbitrarily arrested among a group of five that day.
Wagdy mentioned that one of the initial five arrested was released from Abdeen Police Station leaving four in the police report, one of which a minor. “A minor called Ahmed Samir was among the arrested but was referred to the Children’s Court and then acquitted,” he said.
The defendants were referred to court on 29 May but the session was postponed to 10 June. The defence team was able to prove that the defendants were only by standers and did not take part in the protest, by providing a testimony of Laila Swaif, saying that she was one of the organisers of the protest and that the defendants were not part of it.
The defence team had also argued that the video considered as evidence in the case did not show the defendants faces.
Mahienour El-Massry was arrested for breaking the protest law by organising a protest without a permit last April. El-Massry was sentenced to two years in prison and EGP 50,000 fine.
The controversial Protest Law was issued by Hazem El-Beblawi’s government last November to “regulate” protests, requiring permission from the Ministry of Interior to organise demonstrations. A number of political activists, including renowned blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah, are facing prison for defying the Protest Law and organising protests without taking the required permits.