The Abdeen Court of Appeals judge has extended the detention of 11 individuals arrested following a violent demonstration during the fourth anniversary of the 25 January Revolution earlier this year.
Approximately 18 people were arrested after a protest led by the ‘Ahrar’ youth movement occupied Talaat Harb Square on 22 January. Around 80 protesters briefly occupied the Downtown Cairo intersection and clashed with security forces.
The prosecution levelled charges of “demonstrating without a permit, unlawful assembly, disrupting public and private transportation, and possession of fireworks”, according to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), who has worked on the case.
Seven men were later released, while a further 11 have remained in custody for five months since January, having had their detention period extended multiple times.
Daily News Egypt witnessed the January protest turn violent, as those demonstrating threw Molotov cocktails, rocks and discharged fireworks at security forces who responded with live ammunition and tear gas. A building by Talaat Harb Square was also set alight, but the fire was later extinguished by emergency services.
Daily News Egypt also saw protesters caught as they attempted to flee the scene after further security arrived, and were violently beaten by non-uniformed men and thrown into police vans.
Following the protest, Ahrar said online that security forces began arbitrarily arresting protesters, and “all of those who looked as though they belonged to the revolutionaries”.
Ahrar, founded in August 2012, is an independent youth movement that states they are against military rule, remnants of the old regime (of former president Hosni Mubarak), and the Muslim Brotherhood. They also denounce what they call US imperialism.
Security forces have killed at least a dozen of the movement’s members, and arrested scores more, as it has previously clashed with the group during demonstrations over the past two years.