Human rights groups and NGOs condemned the lack of transparency and violations related to the illegal detention of protesters, and restrictions on lawyers who tried to represent them.
The Ministry of Interior announced that security forces arrested a total of 516 persons throughout the country on the anniversary of the 2011 revolution, referring to them in a Monday statement as “terrorist Brotherhood elements”.
The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) issued a report Tuesday on the fourth anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, in which it criticises the lack of clarity and coordination within state authorities regarding information on the number of arrests and the whereabouts of arrested protesters.
The report also highlighted the prosecution’s obstinacy while dealing with lawyers’ inquiries on the whereabouts of the arrested persons, and prosecution’s investigations with them.
Of the 516 arrested that the Ministry of Interior announced, AFTE said it could only monitor 169 persons in more than seven governorates with the largest number of arrests happened in Cairo, where 116 persons were arrested.
Among the 116, twelve journalists were arrested, with ten of them released and two still under detention.
Withholding information, lack of transparency and restrictions on lawyers were the highlights of AFTE’s report, listing incidents of violations by police and prosecution against lawyers.
Lawyers Mokhtar Mounir, Halim Henish, and Sayed Sobhi were prevented from entering Azbakiya police station Monday to inquire about persons arrested in the surrounding area, which is a violation of the law that guarantees the facilitation of acquiring information and data for lawyers from police, prosecution and courts.
A similar incident occurred when lawyers headed to Al-Salam Central Security Forces (CSF) camp, where reports said a number of the arrested were detained. Lawyers were reportedly threatened by security forces, and were allegedly told that if they did not leave they would be shot.
A number of lawyers also filed a report to Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat on the disappearance of persons who were arrested on the revolution’s anniversary. Barakat referred the report to General Attorney of Middle Cairo , and when the lawyers went to his office they were not allowed to enter and were asked to leave their cell phones and belongings until they are allowed in. Lawyers comdemned the procedures and headed back to the prosecutor general to report the incident.
The Front of Defence for Egyptian Protesters’ lawyers also filed a report Monday to the prosecutor general, compelling Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim to reveal the whereabouts of “political activists” arrested on the revolution’s anniversary.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) filed a report to Barakat on the intransigence of Kasr Al-Nil prosecution, as it prevented lawyers from attending investigations.
The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) similarly filed a report to the top prosecutor protesting what they described as “extreme violations” by the prosecution, as it started investigations with 79 detained in a CSF camp, which is considered an illegal detention place. Further, they reported that lawyers were prevented from attending investigations.
El Nadeem Center for the Management and Rehabilitation of victims of violence reported that 63 persons out of 132 detained in CSF camps were released.
Kasr Al-Nil prosecution decided Tuesday to detain 79 protesters for four days pending investigations into charges of illegal protesting and assaulting police forces and personnel, while Agouza issued 15 days of detention pending investigations against 13 protesters on similar charges.